Garden of Small Beginnings (Prebound)

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Staff Reviews

Waxman is an excellent creator of loveable characters. I finished this book not wanting to leave Lilian and the gang behind! Thankfully, Waxman manages to sneak them into her other novels – which made me gleefully do a double take in her most recent book (The Bookish Life of Nina Hill)! In short, The Garden of Small Beginnings is a novel about grief, love, and how we find the light in our lives. Heavier topics, in a fun, quirky little package. Oh, and the kids are adorable. And the main character is a spunky artist whose main counterpart is British. And there’s a lazy old dog named Frank. Such a good book! For anyone in need of a laugh or some cheer.

— Brynn

May 2017 Indie Next List

“Lilian Girvan is a young widow going through the motions: mother of two, newly unemployed, and navigating life's daily aggravations. When she grudgingly signs up for a weekly gardening class, she's surprised to find support, wisdom, and the possibility of a new relationship. Lilian is a funny, sassy everywoman who will make you laugh out loud, cry a little, and cheer as she takes tentative steps toward her own small beginnings of happiness. Abbi Waxman's debut novel will be enjoyed by fans of The School of Essential Ingredients and anyone who believes that happiness can be a choice regardless of what life brings.”
— Cindy Pauldine, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY


Not since Good Grief has a book about a young widow been so poignant, funny, original, and utterly believable. A compelling debut novel about loss.
Give grief a chance . . .
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

About the Author

Born in England, Abbi Waxman worked as a copywriter at various advertising agencies in London and New York, but then quit to have kids and write books. She writes novels, screenplays, and TV shows, largely to get a moment s peace. Abbi lives in Los Angeles with three kids, three dogs, three cats, and one very patient husband."
Product Details
ISBN: 9780606400404
ISBN-10: 0606400400
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017
Pages: 368
Language: English