The Garden of Small Beginnings

The Garden of Small Beginnings

Book - 2017 | First edition
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"Young widow Lilian Girvan can't see the garden for the weeds ... It's been three years since her husband was killed in a car accident and Lilian is still getting used to being sane--after that one early breakdown. She's happy just being able to get her two girls to school every morning, keep her illustrating job, and catch up on her favorite TV shows with her sister. She's not exactly in a rut; she's just letting the grass grow under her feet. But then Lilian's boss asks her to illustrate a vegetable encyclopedia and signs her up for a vegetable-gardening class. Lilian reluctantly agrees and recruits her kids and sister to join her for some drama-free Saturday mornings, because what could be more relaxing than gardening? Nothing ... except that this class is filled with people who like to dig a little deeper than the surface, and an instructor who makes Lillian want to bloom for the first time in years. With her fellow newbie gardeners, Lilian learns what it takes to nurture plants--and friendships. Digging in the dirt, with worms and all, teaches Lilian that sometimes you have to let nature take its course, be it in gardening, in life, or in love.."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Berkley, 2017
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780399583582
Branch Call Number: F WAXMA-A
Characteristics: 347 pages ; 20 cm


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Apr 02, 2019

The Garden of Small Beginnings is women's fiction with light romantic elements. It's a poignant look at a young widow raising her two equally young daughters, but still grappling with "moving on" four years after her husband's death. Although a deep and sad subject matter, the book is infused with humor. Being a fan of humorous writing, I loved the witty banter and inner musings. I will say, a few times the humor felt a bit forced, but overall it was a nice balance to some of the more somber parts.

Mar 16, 2019

The Garden of Small Beginnings was recommended to me by a dear friend. I loved The Garden of Small Beginnings. It is real, it is sad, it is sarcastic, it is funny and it is uplifting uplifting ... all with gardening tips!

What a treasure to have found Abbi Waxman and her delicious sense of life and humor! I can't wait for her next book, Other People's Houses.

Jul 14, 2018

A delightful expression of language, creativity, positive relationships, .... a page turner, even though it's not a mystery.

Jul 01, 2018

I really enjoyed this warm story of a young widow coming to terms with the concept of moving on, living her life and being truly happy again. I felt her pain and fear, her love for her lost husband, her desire to not forget him.
This story is told with warm & loving humor and looks at many issues: letting go, learning to live & be happy, first appearances, trusting oneself, accepting others into one's life and much more.
It's a warm & loving story. I was afraid it would be a romance but it's not; far from it. It's about Life.

May 07, 2018

I read the whole of The Garden of Small Beginnings in a morning, not because I couldn’t put it down but because I didn’t want to. It may not be a thriller that keeps you glued to the page, but it’s quick, keeps things light-hearted for the most part, and its loveable, which is sometimes better. It is not so much a book about tragedy as it is about overcoming and starting anew (hence the title). The family dynamic is recognizable, the friendships formed seem real, and the romances, while a little cheesy on occasion, are sweet and lovely. It was certainly a nice book for character development, and the touch of comic relief the kids added was perfect. A really nice read overall.
- @freckleface675 of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Dec 27, 2017

Delightful surprise of a book--a book of love & loss that had me laughing out loud throughout. Witty dialogue and characters that made me want to hang out with them even longer.

Aug 08, 2017

This book is light, quirky and fun! It can be tailored to a late teen audience by slight adjustments on language and adult situations. The supporting characters are awesome in that through the gardening class, they learnt by helping each other they strengthened their own selves. The description of loss of husband is touching, heartfelt and seems to draw from personal experience. Overall, it is a good read!

Jul 27, 2017

What a delightful surprise this book turned out to be! In the Garden of Small Beginnings, Lilian Girvan is attempting to get on with her life after the sudden death of her husband. She enjoys her work as an illustrator but it's a new assignment that finds her taking a gardening class at the local botanical garden, where she finds more than vegetables and flowers. A heartwarming, laugh out loud, and truly touching story.

Jul 20, 2017

Lilian, who is grieving the unexpected death of her husband more than three years earlier, is assigned by her publishing company to take a gardening class to help her learn to illustrate vegetables for a new project. There’s some serious stuff, but lots of hope and humor, too. The novel has an abundance of witty narration, dialogue and observations on human nature, as well as a large cast of delightful characters, such as Lilian’s seven-year-old daughter, who is described as having “the gravitas of a forty-year-old career diplomat.” The book was so hard to put down that it had me losing sleep, risking being late for work, and even reading it while walking (outside. on a busy street. through intersections.)

Jun 01, 2017

4.5 stars
I only bought this book only because I had a "Cartwheel" coupon from Target that made the purchase a bargain $8. Well worth my literary money.

This is a quaint, witty novel about a woman who is still trying to recover and find balance after the death of her husband. It's about complicated family dynamics and unexpected friends. It's about relationships and overcoming fear. And it's about growth and change -- much like the gardening that anchors the book.

I loved the multiple characters and the sharp, bantering dialogue. It made me want to take a gardening class.

A perfect summer novel.

*Language including the Fbomb

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