Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

The Garden of Small Beginnings
 by Abbi Waxman

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 368
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Give grief a chance . . .

Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years—ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing. She can now get her two girls to school, show up to work, and watch TV like a pro. The only problem is she’s becoming overwhelmed with being underwhelmed.

At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks—like actually being called upon to draw whale genitalia. Oh, and there’s that vegetable-gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally. Wallowing around in compost on a Saturday morning can’t be much worse than wallowing around in pajamas and self-pity.

After recruiting her kids and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles Botanical Garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover—with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners—is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not…

Kritters Thoughts:  Lilian became a widow almost four years prior to the start of the book and parts of her life are still at a somewhat stand still.  With two young daughters she has had to pull it together and move forward for them.  Without her sister, in-laws and co-workers she may not be in the place she is, but she still has some growing to do.  She is put on a project at work where she is asked to take a gardening class and what may seem like a minor move will send her life down a different path.

I loved this book from the beginning.  I loved that the reader hears about the time right after her husband's death, but we didn't live through it with her, instead the book focuses on the positive uphill climb that she is in the midst of.  It isn't all sunshine and rainbows, but it isn't thunderstorms either - it is the prefect balance of sadness and the drive to move on.  

After I finish books, if I don't know the author I look them up to see if they have a blacklist that I can dive into or if this is their debut and have hopes for more from them!  This is Abbi Waxman's debut and like I have said recently and often, I hope she has quite a few more stories up her sleeve - I love the way she writes and would love another story that centers around a woman trying to do life the best way she can.

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

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley NAL.  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.

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