I received an advance reader copy of The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman through a Goodreads giveaway.
Overall, I enjoyed this mostly light hearted and sweet story. Waxman took a heavy topic of a widow’s loss and showed her progress through grief. We see Lilian learn how to raise her young children on her own as well as glean some insight into her discovery that her loss also affected everyone else in her family, ranging from her sister to her overly critical mother. This realization seemed like a turning point for her embracing community rather than isolation in her loss as she got closer to her sister and the friends she made in her gardening class.
Having pointed out these insights, I still thought they could have had more depth. This story gave a cursory glance and kept the story at a fun, girly angle. It may seem nit picky, but I also found some of the phrases and descriptions forcefully crass. That detracted from the sweetness as well as the depth of the story.
The book kept my attention and provided a cute story with likeable characters and enough depth to gain some insight into widows and grief.