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Publisher's Summary

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.

"I couldn’t put down this wise, honest, beautifully written story." (Shauna Niequist, New York Times best-selling author of Present Over Perfect and Bread & Wine)

Born with the gift of hospitality, Kreis Beall helped create one of the nation’s most renowned resort destinations, Blackberry Farm, in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountain foothills. For decades, she was a fixture in the travel and entertaining world and frequently appeared in the pages of popular home and design magazines. But at the pinnacle of her success, Kreis faced a series of challenges that reframed her life, including a brain injury that permanently impaired her hearing and the conclusion of her 36-year marriage to her best friend and business partner, Sandy Beall.

Alone and uncertain as her world shifts and marriage ends, Kreis begins a new journey to find her faith and find God. After spending years on her beautiful exterior life and work, she begins the hardest undertaking of all: reclaiming and redesigning 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." She examines what it takes to redefine life after deep loss and acknowledges, for the first time, often unbearable truths that existed beneath the beauty she had created.

By turns fiercely honest, heartbreaking, and warm, Kreis Beall’s story will resonate with anyone who can benefit from her discovery that "All it takes is all you’ve got. And it is worth it."

©2020 Kreis Beall (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A homeless friend once told me that ‘rock bottom’ was a solid foundation to build upon. Beall’s perfectly designed and beautiful Tennessee mountain top life was the envy of many. It was unimaginable that such an elegant, well- known Southern belle would one day be staring at rock bottom from the deep, dark valley of loss and unspeakable tragedy. With grit, atypical honesty, and God as her architect, Beall tells an epic Southern story of rebirth that soars to great heights." (Ron Hall, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Same Kind of Different as Me)

"Grounded in humility, this heartfelt memoir of love, loss, and healing is a joy to read. You will laugh and cry with Beall as she acknowledges her truth, finds God, and discovers the peace of home within." (Jenny Sanford McKay, author of Staying True)

"Follow this writer along a switchback path, through the foothills that skirt the Great Smoky Mountains. Here is what grace and faith make possible, here is what honesty in the face of tragedy yields." (John T. Edge, author of The Potlikker Papers)

What listeners say about The Great Blue Hills of God

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Wonderful Memoir

I enjoyed every moment of the reading of this book. I have always loved Blackberry Farm and this was an incredible look inside the makings of such a special place. Having grown up in Knoxville and frequenting Hilton Head in my youth, I was familiar with many of the settings of this beautiful story, the unfolding of the story of Kris Beall’s life. I, too, love having a family and making a home and all that entails. This story was so honest and real that the reader could instantly connect with Kris. This was truly a story of redemption and of a person finding God through trials and sorrow but being comforted and loved by those He places in our lives. I have recommended this to many women in my life whom I love (and also to my husband). Thank you for sharing this treasure.

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Powerful storytelling, beautifully and thoughtfully written

This is the first book I have ever listened to from the first page to the last. I get bored sometimes or distracted. Not this book. I started listening Sunday and finished on Tuesday. Listened while cooking, in the car, while working, gardening, getting ready in the morning and getting ready for bed at night. I couldn’t wait to listen. I admire this beautiful woman and all that she has gone through both good and difficult. It is beautifully written - colorful, descriptive and I could picture every part of it, smell the smells, see the beauty and feel the emotion. I think there is probably some part of this human experience that everyone who is fortunate enough to read/hear this book can relate to. I would love to know Kreis Beall. Actually, now I think I do in a small way. This book changed me, made me laugh and cry and gives one hope and faith.

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Beautiful memoir

I loved this story so much—love Blackberry Farm just as much!! It really made my visit to the Farm that much more special having read “behind the scenes”. This twisting weaving journey to faith is a must-read. Love the lessons I learned about home, hospitality and family. Thank you, Kriss!! And thank you Dee for the recommendation and lovely accommodations.

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Heart felt

This book brought up so many feelings that I have for my family and God. Making me realize that I will never be enough but God will. Beautiful story!

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a wonderful account of a woman's spiritual journey

kreis beall is completely open in describing herself and her life. as a driving force behind Blackberry Farm . she shows herselfl, warts and all.

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Incredible

I was one of the people in the audience of the Nashville Antique Show crying. Thank you for this book during this time in our world and for instilling what is most important. I am lucky to have visited Blackberry Farm and even have a Lagotto. Thank you Kreis Beall!

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An honest and sincere biography.

The title of the book intrigued me. The storyline maps out a life of a driven southern female leader.

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Better to read

I wish I had read this book rather than listen to it. The narrators tone was always a bit sad and whistfull. I tried to see Kreis as a strong and happy person through all of her endeavors but the voice never sounded upbeat.