Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White

The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Pages: 384 
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon  

Goodreads:  James Nealy is haunted by irrational fears and inescapable compulsions. A successful software developer, he's thrown himself into a new goal—to finally conquer the noise in his mind. And he has a plan. He'll confront his darkest fears and build something beautiful: a garden. When he meets Tilly Silverberg, he knows she holds the key…even if she doesn't think so.After her husband's death, gardening became Tilly's livelihood and her salvation. Her thriving North Carolina business and her young son, Isaac, are the excuses she needs to hide from the world. So when oddly attractive, incredibly tenacious James demands that she take him on as a client, her answer is a flat no.

When a family emergency lures Tilly back to England, she's secretly glad. With Isaac in tow, she retreats to her childhood village, which has always stayed obligingly the same. Until now. Her best friend is keeping secrets. Her mother is plotting. Her first love is unexpectedly, temptingly available. And then James appears on her doorstep.

Away from home, James and Tilly forge an unlikely bond, tenuous at first but taking root every day. And as they work to build a garden together, something begins to blossom between them—despite all the reasons against it.

Kritters Thoughts:  What starts as a story of a woman who is trying to recover, three years later after the loss of her husband becomes a story of love and redemption.  Tilly is a native Englander who relocated to the United States for her now deceased husband, she has a son and a new business that she is trying to keep afloat.  After an encounter with James who is debilitated by OCD, she is called home to take care of her mother.  So the story goes to England.

A love triangle, a childhood best friend and returning to your childhood home were the pillars for a different coming of age story, coming of age later in life.  Tilly is trying to recenter herself and the author does a pitch perfect job of giving the reader the feeling of angst that Tilly is living with and having Tilly heal appropriately.  I may be one of a few, but I found James OCD issues to help with the story and paralleled Tilly's issues with resolving her husband's death.

Even though I am quite a bit younger than the main character Tilly, I still found this book relateable.  I would say that maybe an older crowd would enjoy and appreciate it more.  The heart of anxiety about the future can affect a woman at any age.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2012 Challenge:  42 out of 25

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour!


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