• The Garden of Small Beginnings

  • By: Abbi Waxman
  • Narrated by: Emily Rankin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (628 ratings)

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The Garden of Small Beginnings  By  cover art

The Garden of Small Beginnings

By: Abbi Waxman
Narrated by: Emily Rankin
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Publisher's summary

“A quirky, funny, and deeply thoughtful book” (Hello Giggles) that’s “filled with characters you’ll love and wish you lived next door to in real life” (Bustle) from the author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.   

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.... 

©2017 Abbi Waxman (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

“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)

“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)

“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)

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