Review: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

Posted May 17, 2017 by Lily B in Reviews / 22 Comments

Review:  The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi WaxmanThe Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Series: standalone
Published by Berkley Books on May 2nd 2017
Genres: Womens Fiction, Chick-Lit
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
Rating:4.5 Stars

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…

I really needed something different and fun in my reading life, so when dear Heidi over at Rainy Day Ramblings personally recommended this book, I jumped at the chance to read it.

Guys, I cannot express how much I adored this book. It did exactly what I need it to do. It pulled me out of my reading slump and offered me a book with so much fun, laughter and a lot of heart.

Lilian Girvan is a widow. Her husband died a couple of years ago in a car collision right outside of their house and left Lilian with two little girls. Lilian had a hard time recovering from his death at first and actually had to be admitted to a hospital. Her sister Rachel provided a huge support network not only helping Lilian get past her husband’s death, but also in taking care of the kids.

Now Lilian is working as an illustrator and her company is hired to illustrate a gardening book. They only have one request. Lilian must take a gardening class. So after recruiting her sister and her daughters to join her in the class on weekends, Lilian’s world opens up to the great group of gardeners that might be just what the doctor ordered.

This book was fantastic. The writing was super great, super fun and I adored Waxman’s humor, it was just my kind of cup of tea. I was super surprised that this was her debut novel and also a bit disappointed because I so want more of the author’s writing. I cannot wait for her next book to come out, it is definitely going on my auto buy list.

This book is just great for the spring and summer alike. As a gardener myself. I adored the gardening aspect of the story. I also love the quirky gardening guides between the chapter breaks, they had me rolling with laughter.

All the characters were wonderful and endearing. I adored’ Lilian and her daughters. I love the interactions between Lilian and the characters – especially her two little girls. I also loved the strong sister bond between Lilian and Rachel. Really, I just loved everything about this book. The supporting extra characters in this book also just really added both heart and depth to this story.

The only thing that made this a little frustrating was the open ending. I kind of wanted to know a little more and not just where Lilian’s character was going, but also Rachel’s. I guess I could almost understand why the author wrapped it up the way she did, but I still found that I really did want that closure.

Overall, I am looking forward to more of Waxman’s writing. If you are looking to add to your summer book read, I highly recommend this one.

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22 responses to “Review: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

  1. Yeah! I am so happy you loved this too. I don’t go out on a limb often and personally recommend something, but I loved this one so much, and like you it pulled me out of a reading slump. Wasn’t Lilian so funny? I also loved the little blossoming romance between Angela and Mike.

  2. Heidi recommended this one for me, too, and I can hardly wait to start it! I am so happy that you enjoyed it and that it pulled you out of your slump. I just know I’m going to adore this book; I love what you say about the characters and the gardening. Great review, Lily 🙂

  3. Sophia Rose

    Oh, this one does sound great. I enjoy a bit of amateur gardening and it would be neat to see her battle her way back into life with some humor and fun to the writing. But grr on the open ending. Or maybe that’s her next book?

  4. I know! Heidi told me the same and so I tried to get it at NetGalley, but I think I may have to library book it later. So glad you enjoyed it as much as she did and this makes me want to read it all that much more. Totally sold now! Brilly review!

  5. I cannot wait to read this! I have a copy just waiting to be picked up. Heidi recommended it to me too and she never leads me astray with her recs. It sounds like it’s funny and charming. Glad you loved it too!

  6. I was excited to get this recommend from Heidi as well! I’ll be picking it up very soon. It sounds like a really fun read even though I’m not a fan of an open ending. At least I’m warned. Wonderful review, Lily! 🙂

  7. Good to see that this book pulled you out of your slump! Sounds like Lilian was a good character and had strong relationships with her family.

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