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Book Review: The Garden of Small Beginnings

Planting Seeds on this Clever Read

The Garden of Small Beginnings happens to be the first read in this years read pile, and was quite the encouraging one to start off with. It’s an uplifting fiction about gardening, life, family, moving forward and community that’s charming, heart-felt and real.

The story is about a widowed mother of two girls who is learning how to move forward and begin again after the tragic loss of her husband. While working as an illustrator for a publishing company she is assigned to take a six week gardening class to learn more about the plants she’s asked to illustrate for the gardening companies guide and get her hands dirty.  So, every Saturday she, her two girls and sister show up for their gardening class along with other interested gardeners.

What Seeds It Planted for Me:

What I liked most about the Garden of Small Beginnings is that while the central theme may be about gardening (hence the title), I believe it is as much about the relationships we cultivate as well. Whether that’s the strong bond she shares with her sister, or the connections they make with the other gardeners in the class as their shared interest brings them together.

As you read, you discover how wonderfully real and human Abbi Waxman writes her characters in that they each have their own stories and reasons for attending the class, and come from different experiences. I was particularly drawn to the main characters Lilian story of healing after the loss of her husband, and admire the way Abbi Waxman was able to write on the subject of loss without making it seem too heavy, which is sometimes tricky, and yet it still read as real, raw and emotional at moments. It’s done through the idea of gardening comes in, and the other themes like family, healing and moving forward that adds a lightness and hope to the story. I also came to find myself rooting for her as new challenges came up and awareness came up, in that the way she learned how to face them with the help of family and was move forward in the process of learning how to garden.

True Gardening Tips:

Additionally, before each Chapter Abbi Waxman includes  gardening tips for planting specific seeds and tending to their plants. As I read through each of these I appreciated how it brought me back to the theme of gardening as a reader, and yet also was able to picture how the character of Lilian was working on her illustrations, which was a nice tie in to her original purpose in the class.

I highly recommend this to anyone need a little extra inspiration on their own journey, a love of gardening or simply looking for a light, uplifting read about beginning again. Total rating 4/5. 

Hopefully Yours,


Image courtesy of Google.

Feature Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin on Unsplash