Cover Image: The Great Blue Hills of God

The Great Blue Hills of God

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Member Reviews

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.
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I loved the book. The book had moments of making me tear up. Money, and being finding God and yourself.
Thanks, NetGalley for the advance copy to review.
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The Great Blue Hills of God by Kreis Beall

I 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.
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This was an interesting and unusual book. It begins as a narrative of Beall's early life, and shares how she and her husband's unorthodox (and usually spontaneous) real estate ventures led to them creating a destination inn and restaurant called Blackberry, in Eastern Tennessee. The author does a good job contrasting her early life - focused on her career, moving constantly, escaping from one thing into the next - with the shock to her system caused by a traumatic head injury that slowed her down and forced her to re-evaluate. I love how honest she was about how much she LOVED her work. That's inspiring. And to see how what she built is outlasting the people who built it gave this book a lift from the significant heartache the author has endured.  I'd recommend this to readers looking to re-invent themselves (or add new dimension to their lives) in mid-life and beyond.
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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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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.
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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.
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