Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Four in the Garden by Rick Hocker is a thought provoking account of man’s relationship with God. This beautifully written allegory portrays the forging of trust between Cherished and the Creator. Cherished is created and placed in the garden; from conception the Creator is there to guide, protect and serve him. Encouraged to explore his world, Cherished discovers friendship and adversity. Not every being that crosses his path is good, some are disguised, cloaked in a false light. Free will challenges Cherished, and temptation leads to separation and ultimately isolation. Cherished learns that his choices have consequences, mistakes are necessary for growth, “trust grows by trusting” and “true devotion is motivated by love alone.” Through it all, Cherished is transformed into a beloved Companion.
Rick Hocker’s Four in the Garden is a symbolic narrative bathed with spiritual meaning. It bursts with proverbial moral lessons, profound philosophical ideas, and Godly principles. It is a treasure chest overflowing with nuggets of truth. Hocker’s writing style is extremely figurative, imaginative and sensory; his descriptions entice the senses. The chapters are short and focus on a single topic, but also are in chronological order, portraying the dynamic growth of the main character. Four in the Garden is a first person account from Cherished’s point of view. However, at times the story is told through the voice of an omniscient narrator who objectively fills in necessary information. Four in the Garden is a refreshing narrative, full of Selah moments. It challenges the reader to search out their own soul, to discover their own personal relationship with their Creator. Four in the Garden is one book I will read again and again.