Reading guide for The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Garden of Small Beginnings

by Abbi Waxman

The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman X
The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    May 2017, 368 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. The Anaïs Nin quote at the start of the book expresses the challenge facing Lilian. Have you experienced a situation where staying in place was as painful a choice as moving forward?
  2. As the story begins, Lilian is deeply sad, but comfortable in her sadness. She resists people's encouragements to move on, and is quite verbal about it. What impact does her position have on the other people in her life?
  3. Lilian's children experienced the loss of their father differently. How have you seen your own family or friends deal differently with grief, or other losses? Is there a "right" way?
  4. Does Lilian find her work as a textbook illustrator fulfilling? Is she as stuck in that job as she is in her personal life?
  5. What are the similarities and differences between the way Lilian and her sister, Rachel, process emotions? How did their childhood impact their approach? Both have a tendency to use humor to diffuse stress, or make light of personal struggles. What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of that approach?
  6. Are the differences between Lilian and Rachel similar to the differences between Annabel and Clare—how does each pair of sisters relate to each other?
  7. Lilian takes the gardening class because her boss asks her to, but it ends up being a transformative experience for her. Has that ever happened to you, where something that started out as a chore instead became something wonderful?
  8. Gardening turns out to be relaxing for Lilian, despite the hard physical work involved. What do you enjoy about gardening, and why do you think it's so helpful for Lili?
  9. Lilian is often surprised by the distance between her first impressions of people and what she subsequently learns about them. Do you think that's a common experience? Do you think the first impression you give people is an accurate expression of who you really are? Is that even desirable?
  10. A theme in the book is unexpected events and their consequences—how have unexpected events affected your life?
  11. Do you think Edward and Lilian will end up together? Is Lili ready for a new relationship?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Berkley Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Community Gardens

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Big Vape
    Big Vape
    by Jamie Ducharme
    In Big Vape, TIME reporter Jamie Ducharme studies the short but inflammatory history of Juul. Her ...
  • Book Jacket: Love and Fury
    Love and Fury
    by Samantha Silva
    Mary Wollstonecraft is best known for being an early advocate for women's rights and the mother of ...
  • Book Jacket: Walking on Cowrie Shells
    Walking on Cowrie Shells
    by Nana Nkweti
    The stories in Nana Nkweti's dexterous debut collection examine the raw alienation of being ...
  • Book Jacket: The Personal Librarian
    The Personal Librarian
    by Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
    The Personal Librarian drew a robust positive response from our First Impressions reviewers, ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The War Nurse
by Tracey Enerson Wood
A sweeping novel by an international bestselling author based on a true World War I story.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    At the Chinese Table
    by Carolyn Phillips

    Part memoir of life in Taiwan, part love story—A beautifully told account of China's cuisines with recipes.

  • Book Jacket

    The Personal Librarian
    by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

    The little-known story of an extraordinary woman who defies all odds.

Win This Book!
Win Gordo

Gordo by Jaime Cortez

"Dark and hilarious ... singular and soaring ... Hands down, top debut of 2021."—Literary Hub

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

N Say N

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.