The Garden of Small Blessings

This book is about Lillian, her sister, Rachel, her two daughters, Anabel and Claire, and a gardening class she is forced to take. Lillian lost her husband, Dan, in a car accident four years ago. She is struggling to maintain. She was in a hospital for a few months after Dan’s death and is trying to maintain her existence. But life keeps throwing her curve balls.

The first is Edward, the gardening teacher from Holland, who Lilli is attracted to. She hates herself for being attracted to him and does everything in her power to push him away. But Edward likes Lilli, too, and tells her he will wait.

The second is her job. Lillian works at a small publisher of text books. They announce they are laying off the art department. Lillian is faced with having to find a new job. But as an illustrator, she’s in demand.

I loved this book. Lillian is the kind of person I would have as a friend. She’s sarcastic, messy, disorganized, and utterly human. I love her voice. I love that her sister, Rachel, is there to put her in place when need be. Her children, Clare and Anabel, are two of my favorites kid characters because they are written as real kids. If you have kids, you know what I’m taking about. Kids who one minute say the most insightful, brilliant things and the next minute are throwing a temper tantrum because you don’t have the right music in the car.

And let’s not forget the supporting cast. Mike, Angie, Gene, Eloise, Frances, Bob, Richard, Maggie, Berto, and Lillian’s in-laws. Abbi Waxman writes so well. She is so good at developing even the most minor characters, like Rachel’s boss. She is a two-dimensional character, but you still find out something surprising.

I cannot say enough great things about this book. It’s charming and funny and sassy. It is well-written. You slip into the story like a well-worn pair of jeans and it is immediately comfortable and comforting. I really loved this book and I am sure you will, too.

I won this book from Goodreads and received no compensation in exchange for my review. The opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone.


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