The Garden of Small Beginnings
by Abbi Waxman
Release Date: May 2nd, 2017
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 gave this book 4 stars. I had a really good time reading this book. It was actually incredibly lighthearted and fun for something that I figured would be pretty sad. It did have it's sad moments, but I was overwhelmed with sadness while reading it. I shed a tear or two, but that was it.
I laughed a lot during this book. It was witty and charming, I couldn't be mad about it. The main character, while being really sad, never lost her humour. She managed to work through it, though, that was probably more for the sake of her kids. If she didn't have children I feel like this story would have gone in a completely different direction.
I have to draw parallels between this book and Practical Magic. I just saw so many similarities between them. This isn't actually a bad thing, I actually really liked them both. I'm not gonna get into all the details about that, but I just liked that this book reminded me of Practical Magic.
I loved the character development in this book. The protagonist went a long way throughout this book. From sad widow who has a hard time going through daily life, to a happy single mom who is finally back to herself and dating again. I was proud of her progress.
The writing style in this book was just so captivating. I started this book a couple days ago and I have been unable to put it down. Every time I had to do something else I just wanted to pick it up again to find out what was happening next because the author just built up this wonderful story and love and loss and moving on past all that.
I found it was actually very educational too, it had these pages with instructions on how to grow specific fruits and vegetables and let me tell you, once I get over my aversion to zucchini I will definitely be using that.
What I liked about this book is that it was a lot more mature than a lot of the romance chick lit books I've read. In a lot of those books the main characters can be a bit childish and petty, overly dramatic and get caught up in the wrong things. I just loved the realness about this book. Would definitely recommend it.