The Garden of Small Beginnings

The Garden of Small Beginnings

eBook - 2017
Average Rating:
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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.
"Not since Good Grief has a book about a young widow been so poignant, funny, original, and utterly believable. A compelling debut novel about loss. Give grief a chance. 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
Publisher: New York :, Berkley,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780399583599
0399583599
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks

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lamwaitai
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!

s
SaturdayLibrarian
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.

s
sayle
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.)

m
melmccurdy
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

LPL_MeredithW Feb 20, 2017

A sweet, charming, and very funny book about a young widow who enrolls in a weekend gardening class, this book is more than the sum of its parts. It’s full of interesting, relatable characters, with a plot that zigs when you think it’s going to zag, and a pretty great recurring joke about canine worms. I read this an ARC, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it made into a movie sooner rather than later. Recommended for fans of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult!

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