The Garden Of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Garden Of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman | Audiobook ReviewThe Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Narrator: Emily Rankin
Length: 9 Hours 52 Minutes
Also by this author: I Was Told It Would Get Easier
Published by Penguin on May 2nd 2017
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Family Life, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 368
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon

As seen in, The Washington Post, Woman’s World, Flavorwire, HelloGiggles, Bustle, Brit & Co, and more!

“A quirky, funny, and deeply thoughtful book…We’re already dying to know if there will be a sequel.”—HelloGiggles   “Filled with characters you’ll love and wish you lived next door to in real life.”—Bustle   “So witty, amusing, and perceptive that I can’t decide if I liked the writing, the characters, or the story better. They’re all so well done.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Waxman’s voice is witty, emotional and often profound.”— (UK)

Grab life by the roots.  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...


Why Did I Listen To The Garden Of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman?

The Garden Of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman has SUCH A PERFECT COVER. I mean, it is bright and colorful and my eye is immediately drawn to it. Apparently this audiobook is also a hot commodity at my library because I had to put a hold on it. Eventually, I got blessed by my hold coming in. Of course, beyond the cover this book appeals to me in that sometimes I just need to read books about grown ups living grown up lives.

What’s The Story Here?

The Garden Of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman follows main character Lilian Girvan. Lilian is an illustrator with a publishing company in LA. She is also a widow, her husband died in front of her eyes in a car accident in front of her house like three years ago. So, Lilian is a single mother with two little girls to raise. She had a little bit of mental breakdown and her sister stepped up to help out.

Anyways, the driving motivator behind this book is that Lilian has been sent by her company to take a gardening class. The company believes will enhance her illustrations for an upcoming seed catalog. Lilian ends up really developing some great friendships in the class, finds a little bit of romance, and really finally moves forward in a life that seems to have been stuck. I don’t know if “women’s fiction” is still a thing, but this would qualify. And honestly, I loved every minute of it.

How Did I Like The Garden Of Small Beginnings?

I absolutely enjoyed The Garden Of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman. Lately I have not been 100% satisfied with the audiobooks I have been listening to. This book, though, is fantastic. The characters within the book are very well drawn. They are developed and interesting and feel three dimensional. No flat characterization here. Then there’s the blooms of a romance, but it is not the entire book.

Also, yes, there’s a little bit of drama, but it isn’t overwhelming or unrealistic. I just loved how everything played out — from the plotting, to the class and the different students and how they really form strong social bonds. I liked that these people really found support and friendship in each other despite coming from different backgrounds.

How’s The Narration?

The audiobook of Abbi Waxman’s The Garden Of Small Beginnings is narrated by Emily Rankin. Emily is the PERFECT narrator for this book. Her voice is exactly how I would have imagined Lilian’s to be. I felt like this audiobook was so much better than what I have been listening to lately. It was easy to follow along with. I did not get bored or distracted while reading. This book is one that I feel so confident in recommending for people to listen to. It’s such a charming audiobook.

Other reviews of The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman:

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Wasn’t this lovely? It was a great feel good book, I loved the positive family relationships in this.

  2. I loved this book…the print version!


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