Synopsis: 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.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars – rounded to 4
cover 2; characters 5; plot 4; pace 5; writing 4; enjoyment 5; cry * – also a note, the cover rating is based off of the original cover, not the much prettier one I’ve chosen to share here.
My Review: What can I say about THE GARDEN OF SMALL BEGINNINGS? First, I should mention that while it’s not considered a series, there is character overlap between The Garden of Small Beginnings, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, and Adult Assembly Required and they should be read in that order so as not to spoil yourself for relationships.
I didn’t know about the connections, so I’ve read this one last, but it was still quite enjoyable. Also, this book does deal heavily with Lily’s grief over losing her husband and the mental break down she had afterwards. So go in knowing that. Also, there are some quotes in the book that didn’t age the best.
Overall though, there was a lot about gardening which was cute. And I love Waxman’s ability to write found family stories in the absolute best light. They make me very happy. And now I want to re-read Nina and AAR to get reminders of how all of these characters ended up.
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