Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sophia Rose Reviews - The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

I once again leave the blog in the very capable hands of Sophia Rose who is reviewing The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman.

The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Berkley
Published: 5.2.17
ISBN-10: 0399583580
Pages:  368
Format:  Trade Paperback
Source:  Self
Sellers:  Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Kobo
GoodReads Blurb:
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…

Sophia Rose's Review:

One might think that a story centered around a widow who still struggles with her grief would be something of a heavy, brooding book. Not so with this one. The difficult thoughts, emotions, and struggles are there, but it is told in a wry, sweet, upbeat way so that it truly lives up to the title.

I had a great time with Lili, her sister Rachel, her little girls Claire and Annabel, her quirky mom, and all the friends they made through their gardening class. Each personality unfurled like a plant and reveals so much more than could be noted from just the first glance. There's a lot of family, friendship, and even a smidge of romance, but most of all, it is Lili coming back to life again.

I enjoyed the gentle pace and the gardening and her illustrator job as setting.

All in all, it was a delight that had me smiling and wishing I could be right there inside the book with everyone. I think this will appeal to those who enjoy lighter fiction focuses on colorful characters and friendship.

 Author Bio:
Abbi Waxman was born in England in 1970, the oldest child of two copywriters who never should have been together in the first place. Once her father ran off to buy cigarettes and never came back, her mother began a highly successful career writing crime fiction. She encouraged Abbi and her sister Emily to read anything and everything they could pull down from the shelves, and they did. Naturally lazy and disinclined to dress up, Abbi went into advertising, working as a copywriter and then a creative director at various advertising agencies in London and New York. Clients ranged from big and traditional, (AT&T, Chase Manhattan Bank, IBM, American Express, Unilever, Mercedes-Benz) to big and morally corrupt (R. J. Reynolds) to big and larcenous (Enron). Eventually she quit advertising, had three kids and started writing books, TV shows and screenplays, largely in order to get a moment’s peace.
Abbi lives in Los Angeles with her husband, three kids, three dogs, three cats, a gecko, two mice and six chickens. Every one of these additions made sense at the time, it’s only in retrospect that it seems foolhardy.
Feel free to drop her a line, she readily welcomes any excuse to stop working and do something else.

Sophia’s Bio:
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
Sophia’s Social Media Links:


  1. I absolutely loved this book and all it quirky characters. So glad you gave it a chance and liked it too!

    1. I had plenty of encouragement to read it and was so glad that I did. I was smiling and laughing and sharing passages with others. :)

  2. I am so glad you enjoyed this Sophia. It has been one of my favorites this year :)

    1. Had a blast, Kimberly! Your review and then the JIAM win were the biggest reason I got the chance so thanks a bunch, lady. :)

  3. Totally agree with you on this one, it was certainly a delightful read and loved the gardening tips.

    1. Yes, those gardening tips in between even had me chuckling a few times. And the best things was that they were helpful ones, too. :)

  4. That's pretty impressive she was able to keep it fun and upbeat.

    1. That was what struck me. She's a grieving widow and still going through all the stages with two daughters and yet from the beginning I laughed and smiled and got right into her story with the others.

  5. Thanks Sophia Rose for the great review that matches the other great reviews I've read about this book, its going on my list.

    1. You betcha! I think it might be tough on those who recently lost a spouse to read, but otherwise its a gem of a story. :)