The Garden of Small Beginnings

Berkley. May 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780399583582. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780399583599. F
OrangeReviewStarDEBUT When widowed illustrator Lilian, a single mom to two young daughters, has to take a six-week gardening class to help inform her next assignment, she expects to learn about preparing soil and growing tomatoes, not how to move on more than three years after her husband died in a car accident. She brings her children and helpful sister along and meets a diverse group of people, including the handsome and divorced instructor. The group clicks and members become friends who support one another through life's surprises while Lilian struggles to overcome her guilt and sadness. 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. Bonus: While enjoying this wonderful funny novel about life and loss, readers will learn a little about gardening, too.
VERDICT For fans of humorous and down-to-earth women's fiction.
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