My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Publisher: Berkley Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Grief, Contemporary, Romance, Siblings
I jumped on the chance of reading this book after finishing The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and absolutely loving everything about it. The Garden of Small Beginnings is a whole other interesting beast, but a flawed one despite its entertaining elements. It deals with grief, but because the main character has a dry humour and prefers to bury her real emotions for the sake of her children and her own psyche, I had difficulty understanding what Lilian was feeling at times.
But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a page-turner. It almost reads itself. The dialog is lively and omnipresent, making this a fast read, and I quite enjoyed watching Lilian step out of her comfort zone, both physically and mentally. She also has people in her life who care about her and want to see her happy again, because everyone deserves happiness. I admit the secondary characters lacked dimensionality but Lilian herself was developed enough and memorable thanks to her humour.
What I like most about this book was the setting as well as all the different chapter beginnings. This author has skill. She can hook you fast and hard. Now, whether you remain hooked depends on whether you enjoy the story and characters. But every time I finished a chapter, however I felt about it did not matter because the new chapter would immediately rekindle my interest in the story. It’s a curious thing and a technique I want to master someday.
Not the best story about grief there is out there, but it can entertain you easily for an afternoon.
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