Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

Title: The Garden of Small Beginnings
Author: Abbi Waxman
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Berkley Books (May 2, 2017)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Women's Fiction
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars!


Book Description:
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… 








It isn't often anymore that I connect so well with the characters of a story that they truly not only seem like friends and family, but that I'm so sad when it is over because it means that I will never see them again. It is also rare that I stay up late into the night reading because I love the story and characters so much and yet, Abbi Waxman managed to do both of those things for me with her debut novel The Garden of Small Beginnings.

I am so glad that Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings recommended me this story because honestly, I was asked to read it before and turned it down because it sounded sad and a bit depressing and while there are sadder moments in this story, it is about grief after all, there are so many happy and funny moments that they outshine anything else. 

I connected with this story, right from the beginning on a level that I honestly, wasn't expecting. I teared up, I laughed, I cried, I smiled but most of all through it all, I was rooting for every single character I met (expect maybe Dirto).

This wasn't a story about one women but instead a story about many people. Diverse people that come together in a tiny space of time and truly become so much more to each other. In fact, they become so much more than friends but instead, a family. A very diverse, crazy family and it couldn't have been more beautiful. 

Waxman created something beautiful in this story, so much more than how to move on or about grief. It's about being strong when you have to but realizing you don't always have to be strong. About coping and growing and becoming something so much more than you were before. Truly one of the best stories I've read in a really long time.






*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

40 comments:

  1. Yes to all of that! Every single word. I was surprised at just how freaking good it is. I guess Heidi can get it right every now & then. 🙄 😄

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    1. LOL, yes she can. Truly though this really was a surprise. :D

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    2. You know I have impeccable taste. Ha Ha!

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    3. I know she trusts you now. ;)

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  2. Yes! Loved this one so much. Great review!

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  3. This is a story that I would never pick up, but you are now at least the third person I know that has given it rave reviews. I think I'm going to have to break with my normal reading to fit this in. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. I normally wouldn't have either Melanie but I'm so glad that I did, it really is worth it.

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  4. This sounds so lovely and I'm excited to pick it up when I go home this summer. I love the sound of the characters especially! :)
    Lovely review!

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    1. You will love this Nick, I know you will. ;)

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  5. This sounds like an excellent read! Glad you loved it so much :D

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  6. Interesting review thanks for sharing!

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  7. Well Kindlemom this is right up my alley and it's one I've seen reviewed around the blogeshpere too and everyone seems to love it. All right I give in, its going on my list :)

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    1. Woot! You will love it, I know it. ;)

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  8. Interesting story line, and different from what I usually read. Thanks for the review.

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    1. It was for me too but so darn good Mary. I bet you would like it as well. ;)

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  9. I am so glad you loved this so much. I felt the same way about it and considering I am still coping with fresh grief, it was a breath of fresh air for me. I adored the garden club. Didn't you just love Angie and Mike? When I finsihed, I wanted to shout from the rooftops for everyone to read it because it is so darn good. I am thrilled that so many of my blogging friends listened to me and read it and loved it just as much as I did.

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    1. Yes I loved them as well and how they both (all of them really) weren't what they first appeared to be. This whole book and all the characters really were fantastic. So happy you recommended this Heidi!!

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  10. Wonderful review. I listened and just want to buy it for everyone!

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  11. This sounds absolutely lovely. <3 i know it's gotten some pretty wonderful reviews so far so I'm also dying to get my hands on a copy!

    Lovely review, Ali!

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    1. I just know you will like this one too Joy. ;)

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  12. I read Kimberly's review and put it on my wish list to listen to. Not my normal go to but just sounds so freaking good!

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  13. This one is on my wish list and I cannot wait for the time to read it. Great review!

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  14. I'm glad it wasn't all sad! It has a lovely premise, I think. This is why I love blogger reviews - it can really make me think about a book differently and make me want to read it.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I agree Lauren, I so wouldn't have picked it up otherwise and that is a shame because it is so good!

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  15. I liked this one too especially the humor. Her kids cracked me up.

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    1. Yes they were great and so cute and smart too!

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  16. This review was so touching. Adding boo to my wishlist. The theme song 'A Different World' tv series started playing in my head. :)

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  17. Ah yes I heard great things about this one

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  18. Oh yea, Heidi got me curious about this one and you really added to that. I am going to have to get this one from the library. I already requested they get it. :D

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    1. Yay! I know you will like it Melissa. :D

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  19. That's great that it turned out to be such a strong read for you and held you so tightly. Nice to give a book a second look like that :)

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    1. Yes! I love those books that you unexpectedly connect with.

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