The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

I was so excited to receive a copy of The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman from Berkley Publishing! I've seen this adorable cover here and there, online and at the store, without knowing much about it at all. I have a tendency to gravitate towards heavier stories or historical fiction generally. I am SO thankful for the copy Berkely Publishing sent me because I DEVOURED this book. Like in two days.

The Garden of Small Beginnings follows the story of single mom Lili (recently widowed....well mostly recently, three years) and her two children, her quirky sister Rachel and a slew of other characters that make this story just all around enjoyable and entertaining. Lili is an illustrator (mostly computer based) for a publishing company who is asked to illustrate (by hand! with actual watercolors!) a gardening book. To do so, her company signs her up for a six week gardening class taught by the expert writing the book! ((There are SUPER adorable little gardening tips between each chapter too! I love when books add little things like that, recipes or clips from the newspaper in the town, etc.))

I literally was laughing out loud by chapter two, as we drove to a family function, so much so that my husband asked what was so funny. I don't laugh out loud while reading books often, even if they are funny. I also don't usually laugh out loud at funny movies or things in general (I know, its a weird quirk). So usually when I do, its something REALLY funny. Ill direct you to pages 8 and 9. That was my first laugh out loud moment.

There is so much in this book to praise! The story, while in another context could have been melancholy, brings the grief of widowhood along for the ride of everyday life and life with two kids, a dog, a crazy sister, a full time job. I appreciated Lili's honesty about missing her husband, missing his boxers on the ground and the constant fighting over money (true life). I also appreciated her honesty with the kids, with chicken nuggets for dinner and how getting older means less make-up because wrinkles. So many little truths found in this story!

Overall the symbolism of Lili's six week gardening class, spending time under the sun growing things alongside her own life moving forward and growing is pretty easy to see but still well done and makes for an enjoyable story. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a funny female character who is living life and trying her best, who enjoys a few wacky truly laughable moments and wants to read something enjoyable! You won't regret it.

Thank you Berkley Publishing for this copy!

The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
347 pages
Published by Berkley


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