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The Garden of Small Beginnings Paperback – May 2, 2017
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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A MAY INDIE NEXT PICK
“Brilliant. Simply brilliant. The Garden of Small Beginnings is funny, poignant, and startling in its emotional intensity and in its ability to make the reader laugh and cry on the same page...I loved this book!”—Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street Novels
“If you’re looking for a summer beach read with meat, this might well be your book…Waxman develops and explores the characters and their relationship in depth…with moments of humorous writing.”—The Washington Post
“This is my favorite kind of book—hilarious, sad, joyful. Beautifully written. Fun. I dare you not to enjoy it.”—Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me
“What a treat!! Abbi Waxman is one of the wittiest voices in the world today. The Garden of Small Beginnings is a beautiful book full of humor, heart, and deep insight. An intimate and hilarious journey about a young mom moving on from grief. Reading it gave me the feeling I was talking to a really funny, open mom-friend sharing secrets about life, love, loss, and gardening! Abbi Waxman’s quick wit and heart shine brightly throughout this debut novel. I just loved it!”—Molly Shannon, actress
“Funny and poignant. Guaranteed to make you laugh and cry. May make you want to play in dirt and grow a new life of your own.”—Wendy Wax, USA Today bestselling author of One Good Thing
“Waxman's skill at characterization...lifts this novel far above being just another 'widow finds love' story. Clearly an observer, Waxman has mastered the fine art of dialogue as well. Characters ring true right down to Lilian's two daughters, who often steal the show. This debut begs for an encore from Waxman.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Waxman takes readers from tears to laughter in this depiction of one woman's attempt to hold it all together for everyone else only to learn it's OK to put herself first.”—Booklist
“Kudos to debut author Waxman for creating an endearing and realistic cast of main and supporting characters (including the children). Her narrative and dialog are drenched with spring showers of witty and irreverent humor, which provides much respite from the underlying grief theme.”— Library Journal (Starred review)
“The Garden of Small Beginnings is a quirky, funny, and deeply thoughtful book. . . . We’re already dying to know if there will be a sequel.” —HelloGiggles
“Waxman’s voice is witty, emotional and often profound.”—InStyle.com (UK)
“This novel is filled with characters you’ll love and wish you lived next door to in real life.”–Bustle
“Sorrow is usually an occasion for sobs instead of laughter, but Waxman manages to wring many funny and poignant moments from a sober situation.”—Augusta Chronicle
“Lilian Girvan, the central character of The Garden of Small Beginnings, is an illustrator, a mother, a sister, a budding gardener, and a widow, and her perspective on how she’s doing with each role doesn’t always match up with what readers can see around her. But that trait makes her a more interesting and realistic protagonist, and along with the book’s humor and eccentric supporting cast made it a great read.”—BookRiot
“Abbi Waxman artfully tackles grief with humor in her debut novel.”—Signature Reads
“It’s impossible not to fall in love with Lilian, a young widow who is still trying to come to terms with the death of her husband four years later. . . . If you are thinking to yourself ‘forget it, I’m not reading a gardening book’- don’t worry . . . THIS IS NOT A GARDENING BOOK! It IS, however, a feel-good, hate-to-put-it- down, kind-of-book!”—Chick Lit Central
About the Author
Abbi Waxman is a chocolate-loving, dog-loving woman who lives in Los Angeles and lies down as much as possible. She worked in advertising for many years, which is how she learned to write fiction. She has three daughters, three dogs, three cats, and one very patient husband.
Top customer reviews
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That being said, the story is about two close sisters supporting each other as they individually figure out what’s next for them in life. They have the same irreverent sense of humor that serves them really well, and that’s lucky, because their mother stands in stark contrast to the daughters she raised. The eldest sister, and narrator of the story, is a young widow with two little girls whose innocence adds lots of fodder for the family humor.
The garden club characters are compulsory, as the sisters’ personalities bounce off them like well-placed volleyballs. Observing their daily interactions is both relaxing and entertaining, and definitely makes you laugh out loud. In short, they are a delightful family (including their dog).
This book inspired me on several levels. It was a reminder to be more playful; don’t overthink everything; try something new again; and make peace with my shortcomings. Ultimately, treat myself better.
So I’m going to start today by getting some fresh flowers for the dinner table tonight. I don’t know the full menu yet, but it will include a salad with lots of veggies and definitely strawberries for dessert.
Bottom line: I encourage you to grab a glass of iced tea when you have some time, and visit with these folks. Their life is full, yours is too, so you may not become BFF’s, but your life will feel enriched for having met them.
Lilian is an illustrator and a good one. It is fun reading her comments about life, both talking to other characters, and comments only the reader can know. Lilian loves her kids, is a great mother, Rachel is a good aunt who took care of the kids when their mom had a nervous breakdown after her husband was killed.
Lilian is told on her job to take Saturdays to go to a course in gardening. The firm will be doing a book on planting vegetables, herbs and wants illustrations on all about gardening. The children can go to the class. Rachel is talked into learning about gardening whether she wants to or not. The class will be taught by Edward Bloem whose family has been in gardening for several generations. Edward is from the Netherlands, the class will take six Saturdays.
Lilian meets those who will be taking the class. This is an interesting bunch, all different personalities. Rachel has been trying to get her sister back into life, not just going to work. Lilian feels her children, her home, her job is all she needs. The man she loved is gone, there will never another. Rachel disagrees. Lilian tells readers how wonderful it is to be a mom, but how frustrating it can be. Children have minds of their own. Rachel tells her sister to get a life. Each chapter of the book contains facts about gardens, tools soil, watering, maintaining, needs of different vegetables and herbs.
This is a feel good book, but fun and good for laughs, an enjoyable read. I read about the book in the Fort Worth, Texas, Arts and Travel section and ordered it.
#2) She writes in such a manner, that it drags on and on and on with not much of anything happening.
#3) If you enjoy nasty insults here in there about people and their genitals then you will like this book.
Truly, if this female author who is married with 3 children and a husband can write and get a book published that is so poorly written and so very boring, then I would say anyone can get a book published and on the shelves and into the market place.
If you enjoy wasting time, definitely, purchase this book.
Most recent customer reviews
Lillian's husband dies in a car accident leaving her a single mother of 2 children,...Read more