Great Blue Hills of God
The creative force behind Blackberry Farm, Tennessee's award-winning farm-to-table resort, reveals how she found herself only after losing everything in this powerful memoir of resilience.Born with "the gift of hospitality," Kreis Beall helped create one of the South's most enchanting destinations, Blackberry Farm, in Tennessee's Smoky Mountain foothills. For decades, she was a fixture in the entertaining world and on the glossy pages of popular home and design magazines.But beautiful exteriors and glowing accolades papered over deep inner pain. At the pinnacle of her success, a brain injury left her with devastating hearing loss. That was followed by the collapse of her thirty-six-year marriage to her best friend and business partner, Sandy Beall--and a few years later, the tragic death of her son Sam, the proprietor of Blackberry Farm, at age thirty-nine.Alone and desolate as her marriage ends, Kreis begins a new journey, to find her faith and find God. After spending years on her exterior life and work, now she must begin the hardest undertaking of all: to reclaim her interior life and soul. Kreis retreats to Blackberry Farm, moving into an unassuming, 300-square foot shed with peeling paint on the exterior walls "where I met myself for the first time." Out of brokenness has come reflection, re-examination, and bit by bit, healing and meaning.By turns fiercely honest, heartbreaking, and warm, Kreis Beall's story will resonate with anyone who has ever searched to find genuine beauty among their own flaws and scars.

Great Blue Hills of God Details

TitleGreat Blue Hills of God
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 4th, 2020
PublisherConvergent Books
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography

Great Blue Hills of God Review

  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐All I kept thinking while I was reading this was, this women has unbelievable talent and charm and she is determined to take on any challenge facing her. Everything she touched turned to gold! And she is also an author! She wrote a beautiful memoir. I loved it and couldnt put it down. It flowed beautifully and I loved her honesty about her family and her endless running from ....well everything. At about half way she starts to talk about her life unraveling, which further kept me glued 4.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️All I kept thinking while I was reading this was, “this women has unbelievable talent and charm and she is determined to take on any challenge facing her.” Everything she touched turned to gold! And she is also an author! She wrote a beautiful memoir. I loved it and couldn’t put it down. It flowed beautifully and I loved her honesty about her family and her endless running from ....well everything. At about half way she starts to talk about her life unraveling, which further kept me glued to her story. She paints a picture of loss, pain and grief that in part brought her into a relationship with God. I’m really glad she shared this with me. It was very good. This was a NETGALLEY gift and all opinions are my own.
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  • Astrid Galactic
    January 1, 1970
    Such an stimulating, inspirational and interesting book. How one woman, along with her family, created, maintained a life that left behind her mark of beauty, love and home.Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of the eBook for a fair and honest review.
  • Rosa
    January 1, 1970
    While the beginning of the book had me wondering what the significance was of all the details included, by the end of the book, I understood. The author does a beautiful job of giving simple details about her life, yet keeping the reader interested and desiring to read more. Beall is real, honest, raw, and open about her life. She paints a strikingly sad image of how one's life can be so full of great wealth and endless "things" and yet be so empty. This book definitely left an impression on me! While the beginning of the book had me wondering what the significance was of all the details included, by the end of the book, I understood. The author does a beautiful job of giving simple details about her life, yet keeping the reader interested and desiring to read more. Beall is real, honest, raw, and open about her life. She paints a strikingly sad image of how one's life can be so full of great wealth and endless "things" and yet be so empty. This book definitely left an impression on me!Thanks to author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read the uncorrected proof of this book.
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    I have heard so much about Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, so when I saw this book written by one of it's founders, Kreis Beall, I knew I wanted to read it. Beall is such an interesting and talented lady! She and her husband seemed to be the "perfect power couple". But, as so often is the case, what the outside world sees, is not always what's really going on beneath the surface. Beall goes through much loss and heartache and finds herself on a journey of self-examination and a search for what's I have heard so much about Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, so when I saw this book written by one of it's founders, Kreis Beall, I knew I wanted to read it. Beall is such an interesting and talented lady! She and her husband seemed to be the "perfect power couple". But, as so often is the case, what the outside world sees, is not always what's really going on beneath the surface. Beall goes through much loss and heartache and finds herself on a journey of self-examination and a search for what's really important. Although, I cannot relate to the author's lifestyle, I found it very interesting, and would love to one day have the opportunity to visit Blackberry Farm. In the end, it's another great example that wealth, power and things can never truly satisfy or fulfill.I am grateful to Convergent Books and Netgalley for providing me an early release copy.
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  • Karen Parisot
    January 1, 1970
    As co-founder of and a driving force behind Tennessees renowned Blackberry Farm, Kreis Beall has led an extraordinarily full life, endured multiple tragedies and come out stronger in the end. She is a multi-talented workaholic who along with her husband led a highly successful life. They seemed to have it all. Kreiss memoir is honest, heartfelt and at times gut-wrenching. I was so touched by her story that tears were literally rolling down my cheeks. If you like memoirs, youll definitely want to As co-founder of and a driving force behind Tennessee’s renowned Blackberry Farm, Kreis Beall has led an extraordinarily full life, endured multiple tragedies and come out stronger in the end. She is a multi-talented workaholic who along with her husband led a highly successful life. They seemed to have it all. Kreis’s memoir is honest, heartfelt and at times gut-wrenching. I was so touched by her story that tears were literally rolling down my cheeks. If you like memoirs, you’ll definitely want to read this one about the remarkable Kreis Beall. 4.5 stars
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    My ex husbands family is from the East Tennessee area and we used to spend a lot of time in the Smokies. I always knew of Blackberry, had been by a few times, but never stayed (now I can't afford to)! ;) I enjoyed reading Kreis Beall's story and that of her family. She lived in many areas I've visited and frequented, which made it all the more interesting. It shows that sadness and tragedy have no preference on the wealthy vs the not so wealthy. It hits most of us at one point or more in life. I My ex husbands family is from the East Tennessee area and we used to spend a lot of time in the Smokies. I always knew of Blackberry, had been by a few times, but never stayed (now I can't afford to)! ;) I enjoyed reading Kreis Beall's story and that of her family. She lived in many areas I've visited and frequented, which made it all the more interesting. It shows that sadness and tragedy have no preference on the wealthy vs the not so wealthy. It hits most of us at one point or more in life. I enjoyed reading how Ms Beall's health brought her to focus on what was missing in her life and finding her faith and real joy in more simple things. Highly recommend this book, especially to those in our area who would enjoy knowing more about the Blackberry history.Thanks to NG and the Pubiisher for the ARC
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  • Mary Vogelsong
    January 1, 1970
    The Great Blue Hills of God is a memoir from the co-founder of Blackberry Farm, Kreis Beall.The title comes from the rendering of the Native American name for the Great Smokey Mountains, the setting for Blackberry Farm.This book chronicles not only the story of Kreis' life, but but her journey toward God as well. It is a journey out of a disfunctional family and a childhood influenced greatly by her mother's design expertise. Kreis also developed from that time a pattern of having an "exit The Great Blue Hills of God is a memoir from the co-founder of Blackberry Farm, Kreis Beall.The title comes from the rendering of the Native American name for the Great Smokey Mountains, the setting for Blackberry Farm.This book chronicles not only the story of Kreis' life, but but her journey toward God as well. It is a journey out of a disfunctional family and a childhood influenced greatly by her mother's design expertise. Kreis also developed from that time a pattern of having an "exit strategy" for any situation in her life.Kreis married Sandy Beall, the founder of the Ruby Tuesday chain of restaurants, back when the number of restaurants could be counted on one hand. Together they had a passion for buying, building, remodeling, designing, and selling homes. This became the framework of their marriage, as they moved close to 40 times.Sandy poured his main passions into Ruby Tuesday and was usually gone during the week. Kreis poured her efforts into Blackberry and another restaurant, sometimes to the detrament of her children.When they moved to Alabama, Kreis wasn't working and she struggled to find her identity. At times she and Sandy kept her sister's two boys, about the same ages as their own two. The begining of problems in their marriage started when Sandy made the decision to send all four boys to private school while Kreis was out of town. This even took away her job of mother.Kreis began to develope some close friendships with other women. Kreis' design skills rose to the top like cream during this time. She was not promoting herself, but ended up in at least three magazine spreads.Eventually Kreis ended up back at Blackberry. She had endured the loss of a beloved home to fire, her husband's infidelity and the subsequent loss of her marriage, and a devastating irrecoverable blow to her health.Kreis' pastor had been praying for her to become a Christian for many years, and finally the circumstances and time in her life led her to accept Jesus. One further loss awaits Kreis near the end of the book.I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this as a Christian book because, like the Israelites who followed God during the reigns of the kings but refused to remove the high places of idol worship, throughout the book Kreis still made pilgrimages to an ashram. Nowhere in the book does she denounce this practice, which is decidedly not Christian.Kreis is a woman of grace who has endured much. We are often more able to find God during the dark times of our lives. He is there at all times, and he requires complete allegiance.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Great Blue Hills of God by Kreis Beall is an excellent memoir that brought me to tears (in a good way) as I journeyed with Kreis herself as she described her own life up until current day. I have to admit I had never heard of Blackberry Farm in Tennessee before reading this book. Since, I have visited the website several times and have learned so much about the heart and soul that was placed into what she calls her third child. I was fascinated to learn about her life, how the area was Great Blue Hills of God by Kreis Beall is an excellent memoir that brought me to tears (in a good way) as I journeyed with Kreis herself as she described her own life up until current day. I have to admit I had never heard of Blackberry Farm in Tennessee before reading this book. Since, I have visited the website several times and have learned so much about the heart and soul that was placed into what she calls “her third child”. I was fascinated to learn about her life, how the area was conceived, created, and come to be the stunning resort it is today. What I feel is the most memorable aspect of this book is hearing Kreis’s life story and her path to finding herself, her family, her purpose, and her relationship with God. I cheered for her as I read about her accomplishments and I cried with her as I read about some of the tragic happenings in her life. I am amazed and in awe of her ability to fight for her recovery and her family. For the way she was able to step back and find God and create a wonderful and lasting relationship with Him, and the way that her faith grew and flourished,like her beautiful roses, helping her cope with her losses and find her path and purpose. I am inspired and admire her passion, love, tenacity, and beautiful soul. I am so thankful that I have been able to meet Kreis through her words, and her search for love, acceptance, purpose, family, and God mirrors us all in one way or another. I think we can all identify with her journey and I can only hope that she finds all that she needs and deserves. My family and I are now planning a trip to stay and experience the Blackberry Farm oasis this fall. I can’t wait! Thank you Kreis for helping us all realize we are not alone in our daily lives and in our search for forgiveness and meaning. I am glad I got to experience this with you and I hope others will do the same.Stunning. 5/5 starsThank you Random House/Convergent, Ms. Beall, GR Giveaway for this ARC and this is my voluntary and unbiased review in return.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free digital ARC from the publisher, this did not influence my review.I found the first half of this memoir to read more like a dry autobiography with too much emphasis on tedious details of meals cooked, fabrics chosen, etc. Her early life could have been betters summarized in a couple of chapters. The book is also filled with cliched aphorisms and large text mottoes that look like pull quotes in a magazine article. Somewhere after the first half of the book, it picked up a bit as I received a free digital ARC from the publisher, this did not influence my review.I found the first half of this memoir to read more like a dry autobiography with too much emphasis on tedious details of meals cooked, fabrics chosen, etc. Her early life could have been betters summarized in a couple of chapters. The book is also filled with cliched aphorisms and large text mottoes that look like pull quotes in a magazine article. Somewhere after the first half of the book, it picked up a bit as Beall discussed her traumatic brain injury. It was a harrowing accident with long-lasting effects; still, it irked me that Beall was out of touch enough to discuss her complete "loss of health" many times throughout the book only paragraphs away from descriptions of hikes to Machu Picchu, long road trips, and other elaborate vacations and undertakings. There are many examples of Beall appearing out of touch - in her preference throughout many decades for work over marriage and family, and her penchant for buying and renovating properties and moving with abandon (and no apparent attention to finances, because they never seem to fall short nor does it seem to occur to Beall that they could). Somewhere in the second half Beall grows almost evangelical but her sudden conversion appears as impulsive as many of her decisions, with no attempt to connect the dots for the reader as to how this transformation fully came about.I did find the end of the book heart-breaking and wrenching; the loss of Beall's grown son Sam was tragic and untimely. After the level of detail at the beginning of the book, I found the end sudden with little explanation of how Blackberry Farm runs without him. Blackberry Farm sounds like a lovely inn and property, but the book falls short as a whole.
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  • Kayo
    January 1, 1970
    A sweet sweet book. Another tear jerker. Lots of little lessons to learn. Nice book!Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
  • Jena Henry
    January 1, 1970
    In the beautiful Smoky Mountains, lived a woman named Kreis Beall. The mountains and valleys are breath-taking, inspiring, and the timeless guardians of souls and natural wisdom. The rocks, hills, and creeks didnt stand a chance against Kreis Beall, the ultimate force of nature.Kreis Beall has created a memoir that is overflowing with an abundance of dreams, desires, and accomplishments. Ms. Beall is a tsunami of life. I am amazed I had never heard of her before, or the luxury farm resort, In the beautiful Smoky Mountains, lived a woman named Kreis Beall. The mountains and valleys are breath-taking, inspiring, and the timeless guardians of souls and natural wisdom. The rocks, hills, and creeks didn’t stand a chance against Kreis Beall, the ultimate force of nature.Kreis Beall has created a memoir that is overflowing with an abundance of dreams, desires, and accomplishments. Ms. Beall is a tsunami of life. I am amazed I had never heard of her before, or the luxury farm resort, Blackberry Farm, she established in the Smoky Mountains near Knoxville, Tennessee. (Note- the “farm” is exactly how I hope heaven is- beautiful surroundings, perfect hospitality, gourmet food, all the activities you could dream of.)Ms. Beall was born and raised in Tennessee. She married Sandy, and he was the CEO and she was the COO of their lives. They founded a popular restaurant chain, created Blackberry Farm, and over the course of their marriage, built or bought and decorated and entertained in over 40 homes. They had it all. They really did- they had so much- wealth, family, friends, entertaining, and creative businesses. It would take a 1,000 of me to get done what the author accomplished in a day. So- the perfect life? Well, the subtitle of the book is “A story of facing loss, finding peace, and learning the true meaning of home.” She suffered some major and devastating blows and she is honest and unsparing in the sharing of these incredibly sad and painful happenings.I’m not sure she is a woman who can ever truly find peace, but just as she can remodel and redecorate a home and make it glossy-magazine Instagram perfect, she can also turn her talents inward to re-center herself. God Bless you, Ms. Beall. She includes devotional-type moments in the book that speak to her love of God, family and home. This is an interesting, if somewhat unsettling, read.Thank you to NetGalley and Convergent Books for a digital review copy. This is my honest review.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    Kreis Beall had it all, it seemed. She and her husband developed Blackberry Farms, an award-winning resort, in the Smoky Mountain Foothills of Tennessee. The couple also owned and developed the Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain. Besides a devoted husband, she had two wonderful sons and time and money to travel and learn, as well as wide recognition in the world of designing and entertaining. Then, her in addition to the end of her marriage end of her marriage and the death of her business partner, Kreis Beall had it all, it seemed. She and her husband developed Blackberry Farms, an award-winning resort, in the Smoky Mountain Foothills of Tennessee. The couple also owned and developed the Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain. Besides a devoted husband, she had two wonderful sons and time and money to travel and learn, as well as wide recognition in the world of designing and entertaining. Then, her in addition to the end of her marriage end of her marriage and the death of her business partner, other tragedies followed, wreaking havoc on the solid, wonderful life she had forged. But there was more to come. She suffered a brain injury, leaving her with a hearing loss, and shortly thereafter, the death of her son Sam. Now, Kreis began the hardest journey of all: figuring out who she really was and how or if to go on. She moved to Blackberry Farm, to a tiny, unassuming shack, where she found herself and the healing began.This is a well written account of a life well spent. I admired Kreis for all she did and accomplished. I also admired her for the way she managed to pick herself up after things went so badly awry in her life. The book resonated with one woman’s search for meaning and definition, much like the searches so many of up go through in life—only probably without so much tragedy, or tragedy of different sorts. Leaning the story of such an awesome woman and her life as well as of the things she accomplished was definitely rewarding to me. I seldom read biographies or autobiographies, preferring fiction, but this was an exception, and a good one at that. I think anyone who has ever wondered about or experienced the struggles we all endure throughout life will enjoy this one. Kreis Beall truly has a story to tell, and the book tells it well. I received this from NetGalley to read and review.
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  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    The Great Blue Hills of God by Kreis BeallI will try to write my 5 star review of this book without spoilers.Kreis Beall is driven. She is married to Sandy Beall, the founder of Ruby Tuesday the restaurant chain. He is also driven. A very strong and successful team is made with the two of them as partners. Kreis Beall also has a very creative streak and is like King Midas. Everything she touches turns to gold. Her decorating and sense of beauty are flawless. Their unusual love of houses leads The Great Blue Hills of God by Kreis BeallI will try to write my 5 star review of this book without spoilers.Kreis Beall is driven. She is married to Sandy Beall, the founder of Ruby Tuesday the restaurant chain. He is also driven. A very strong and successful team is made with the two of them as partners. Kreis Beall also has a very creative streak and is like King Midas. Everything she touches turns to gold. Her decorating and sense of beauty are flawless. Their unusual love of houses leads them to buy, live in and then sell 40 residences. They are packing and moving constantly, taking their 2 boys with them. Workers, neighbors, friends, and acquaintances come and go, but there is one constant: their one great love, their restaurant and inn, Blackberry Farm. Not all is perfect, however, and Kreis feels the pull toward learning more about God and Jesus Christ. She finds faith just in time as her world beings to spin and fall apart. Kreis Beall manages to tell her incredible story without the giving reader a sense that she is bragging. It’s all matter of fact. She sees her weaknesses too, and tells all. Her personal growth is imminent and you will love her even more by the end of her well told story. My heartfelt thanks to #Netgalley and #Covergentbooks for an ARC for my review.
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  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and Convergent Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book. I was initially attracted to this book because I've been trying to convince my husband that we should take a vacation to Blackberry Mountain, the newest outpost of Blackberry Farm, and I learned from the book description that Kreis Beall was the original proprietor. Up until reading this book I had no idea of the history behind the property and now I will enjoy it so much more if I actually go. The Thank you to NetGalley and Convergent Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book. I was initially attracted to this book because I've been trying to convince my husband that we should take a vacation to Blackberry Mountain, the newest outpost of Blackberry Farm, and I learned from the book description that Kreis Beall was the original proprietor. Up until reading this book I had no idea of the history behind the property and now I will enjoy it so much more if I actually go. The book details Kreiss' wide-ranging life, so much of which was incredibly enviable and so much of which was incredibly devastating. As a southerner who loves home decor and cooking I related to Kreiss easily, which may not be the case for everybody. I can see this falling flat for people haven't experienced that culture. In addition to the biographical chapters, chapters with Kreiss' thoughts on subjects like home and the holidays are also included. I don't know that these chapters add much to the book but they didn't bother me. I did find the larger-print quotes interspersed throughout the book a little incongruous. Ultimately, this book is about how Kreiss' life led to her faith. It's a really beautiful story. It's not a page turner that everyone will relate to but I enjoyed it and I think other Blackberry fans will too.
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  • Sallie
    January 1, 1970
    I wish to thank NetGalley and the Convergent Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book. I have voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.I have long been aware of Blackberry Farms in the Smoky Mountain Foothills of Tennessee. I have been there but never stayed overnight. This book is the story of the developers of the award winning resort but it is so much more than that. Kreis tells her story as well. She does not hold I wish to thank NetGalley and the Convergent Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book. I have voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.I have long been aware of Blackberry Farms in the Smoky Mountain Foothills of Tennessee. I have been there but never stayed overnight. This book is the story of the developers of the award winning resort but it is so much more than that. Kreis tells her story as well. She does not hold back anything as she walks us through the life she leads. She and her husband also owned and developed the restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday. Life is not always a picnic as you travel down her path of health issues, loses and so much more to realize how resilient one person can be. It is a book of hope and inspiration.I give this one five stars as I really enjoyed learning the history of such a beautiful place and extraordinary family.#NetGalley #TheGreatBlueHillsofGod #ConvergentBooks # #Goodreads
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  • Linsey Stevens
    January 1, 1970
    Excerpt from my TravelAwaits.com review: I was captivated, entertained, and deeply humbled by this book -- and I consider it the perfect vacation read. Heres why.1. It Reads Like New York Times Bestseller Little Fires Everywhere2. It Invites You To Reconsider The American South3. It Will Inspire You To See Our Country4. It Invites You To Commune With Your Feelings (And Put Work In Its Place)5. It Reinforces The Value Of HomeIn between the chapters that detail her tremendous story, Kreis Beall Excerpt from my TravelAwaits.com review: I was captivated, entertained, and deeply humbled by this book -- and I consider it the perfect vacation read. Here’s why.1. It Reads Like New York Times Bestseller Little Fires Everywhere2. It Invites You To Reconsider The American South3. It Will Inspire You To See Our Country4. It Invites You To Commune With Your Feelings (And Put Work In Its Place)5. It Reinforces The Value Of HomeIn between the chapters that detail her tremendous story, Kreis Beall shares heartfelt advice for daily living, hostessing, and so on. She also asks wonderful questions that will help readers of all ages revisit what health, home, happy travels, and family mean to them.The Great Blue Hills of God winds up being a very spiritual read as Kreis relates her experience of finding faith (not just going to church) without proselytizing. Her courage to extract herself from work to seek out solitude is a nod to the power of time alone for reflection,
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  • Lynn Coulter
    January 1, 1970
    I stayed up late reading Kreis Beall's new book, The Great Blue Hills of God, long into the night. Her account of her work in establishing award-winning Blackberry Farm, an inn in Tennessee, bonding with her family, enduring a terrible injury and finding herself and her faith, s heart-breakingly beautiful. Beall was a woman who seemed to have it all: a devoted husband, two wonderful sons, recognition in the world of design and entertaining, money and time to travel and learn, and much more. Then I stayed up late reading Kreis Beall's new book, The Great Blue Hills of God, long into the night. Her account of her work in establishing award-winning Blackberry Farm, an inn in Tennessee, bonding with her family, enduring a terrible injury and finding herself and her faith, s heart-breakingly beautiful. Beall was a woman who seemed to have it all: a devoted husband, two wonderful sons, recognition in the world of design and entertaining, money and time to travel and learn, and much more. Then her marriage ends and other tragedies disrupt what she believed was a happy and fulfilling life.This is not a "preachy" or overtly religious book. Instead, it's one woman's honest, personal accounting of her experiences and her search for meaning. At first, I thought I'd feel envy when I read about Beall's financial status and worldly possessions, but I found her book relatable, humble and warm. Very, very highly recommended.
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  • Flora
    January 1, 1970
    This book made me feel deeply saddened and yet encouraged at the same time. And not many books have done that! To be honest, I thought this would be a happy story about a happy and privileged life - on the contrary, the author Kreis Beal seems to have faced some of the worst heartaches in life. Blackberry Farm sounds so idyllic and Kreiss' life seemed just as perfect. But it all came tumbling down in more ways than one.I have often wondered how people can live life without the peace and This book made me feel deeply saddened and yet encouraged at the same time. And not many books have done that! To be honest, I thought this would be a happy story about a happy and privileged life - on the contrary, the author Kreis Beal seems to have faced some of the worst heartaches in life. Blackberry Farm sounds so idyllic and Kreiss' life seemed just as perfect. But it all came tumbling down in more ways than one.I have often wondered how people can live life without the peace and assurance that comes with knowing a Higher Being. Let's face it - Life can be awfully hard! Kreis shows how it is possible to be tranquil in the storm.Well written, I read The Great Blue Hills of God from cover to cover. Thank you Netgalley and Convergent Books for the ARC. This is my honest review.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This book stayed with me for a long time after I read it. It kept my attention the entire time I read it, and it was thoroughly enjoyable.Kreis tells the story of her life and growing faith as she takes you along the journey of the houses she made into homes, and of the inn she created. She has known so many other interesting and some famous people in her life and it was fun to see bits of them in the book as well. Despite tragedy in her life, she does not leave you feeling depressed; instead This book stayed with me for a long time after I read it. It kept my attention the entire time I read it, and it was thoroughly enjoyable.Kreis tells the story of her life and growing faith as she takes you along the journey of the houses she made into homes, and of the inn she created. She has known so many other interesting and some famous people in her life and it was fun to see bits of them in the book as well. Despite tragedy in her life, she does not leave you feeling depressed; instead she is inspirational.Design fans and women of faith will both enjoy this book immensely.
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  • Laura Fincher
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this memoir. It kept my attention the entire time, and I finished it in 2 days. I've never been to Blackberry Farm, which Kreis co-founded, but reading the book made me want to visit there. Kreis was very honest, and I enjoyed reading about how she developed and grew as a person throughout her life. She faced a variety of challenges, and in the book, she does a great job describing them and then what she learned through each one. This book would be great for those that like books about I loved this memoir. It kept my attention the entire time, and I finished it in 2 days. I've never been to Blackberry Farm, which Kreis co-founded, but reading the book made me want to visit there. Kreis was very honest, and I enjoyed reading about how she developed and grew as a person throughout her life. She faced a variety of challenges, and in the book, she does a great job describing them and then what she learned through each one. This book would be great for those that like books about family, design, and personal and spiritual growth.
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  • Tiffany
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this book felt like being invited in to a warm home. You can feel Kreis Beall's talent for hosting people in every page. Blackberry Farm is on my travel bucket list, and I was particularly interested in the story of its founding and growth. The book shines in those parts. As a memoir, I felt that the story jumped from life stage to life stage too abruptly and the insight into her life, and especially her faith, lacked depth. Overall, I'd recommend this book, especially to those familiar Reading this book felt like being invited in to a warm home. You can feel Kreis Beall's talent for hosting people in every page. Blackberry Farm is on my travel bucket list, and I was particularly interested in the story of its founding and growth. The book shines in those parts. As a memoir, I felt that the story jumped from life stage to life stage too abruptly and the insight into her life, and especially her faith, lacked depth. Overall, I'd recommend this book, especially to those familiar with and interested in Blackbery Farm.
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  • Teresa Squires
    January 1, 1970
    It has been a dream of mine to stay at Blackberry Farms so was excited to find this book. It felt as if Kreis Beall had settled onto my porch and talked about her life. The writing seems to match her self-description as direct and to the point. The book touches on a lot of layers...business, personal history, family, aging, spiritual, etc. I feel like you could take a chapter and make it a book. So appreciated learning about Kreis Beall's life and how she came to know God.
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  • pat moss
    January 1, 1970
    As a native Tennesseean, I was engrossed with the story of Ms. Beall's journey to her home with God. Anyone who has faced trauma and tragedy will appreciate her honesty as she shares the pain and intimacy of her flawed life behind a facade of privilege. Her eventual breakthrough is an inspiration to anyone running away from herself. That she was able to create Blackberry Farm in her personal turmoil is a testament to her pain, struggle, and homecoming.
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  • Venae H. Hokanson
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the story in this book! My favorite part was at the ending, I even enjoyed all the gratitude's given out. That was different and I liked it. It made it more personal. This is an easy read and kept me interested to continue reading and hit close to home in so many ways. The book made me want to visit Tennessee. Someday I might! I will definitely recommend this book to my family and friends.
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  • Beverly Carmichael
    January 1, 1970
    This was my favorite book of the year. I became familiar with Blackberry Farm when I lived on a farm in Vermont. I had very prolific blackberry bushes and needed to know what to do with them. I was thrilled when I saw this book published. It tells the story of how Blackberry Farm started, why it was a success and its ultimate failure. It is still in operation but under different management. Very interesting read.
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a great read! I live about an hour away from Blackberry Farm. Kreis Beall did such a good job writing her story. I didn't know anything aboutthe owners previously. I think anyone would enjoy this book!Thank you so much, Kreis Beall, the Publisher, and NetGalley, for giving me thechance to read and review this interesting book!
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  • Stephanie Crowe
    January 1, 1970
    The Great Blue Hills of God by Kreis BeallThis is a lovely memoir of the cofounder of Blackberry Farm in Tennessee. Beall describes her life and all of the successes but when tragedy comes, she discovers her true self and finds faith in God. Of special interest to our area as she lived in Mobile and Point Clear for 11 years.Loved her story! This book brought me to tears!
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  • Trick Wiley
    January 1, 1970
    Received this from Net Gallery and to say the least all of this was new to me,never heard of this farm before and you can tell by the story it was well researched to be able to tell their story! Beautiful description of the mountains and of Tenn. Would really love to see this place!
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  • Katie Eaton
    January 1, 1970
    A great memoir - I knew nothing of Tennessee and Blackberry Farm but Id love to travel and see it. Thank you to the author for a brutally honest trip to your past - your life lessons and passion for your family, home, and God were inspiring. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy. A great memoir - I knew nothing of Tennessee and Blackberry Farm but I’d love to travel and see it. Thank you to the author for a brutally honest trip to your past - your life lessons and passion for your family, home, and God we’re inspiring. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy.
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  • Aletha Pagett
    January 1, 1970
    This writing defines a journey through joy, success, heartbreak, defeat and once again success and joy. It allows us to enter into Beall's heart and makes us friends. This was received from Goodreads.
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