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A love story about grief, OCD, and dirt

Tilly Silverberg is rebuilding her life with her young son, Isaac, one potted-up plant at a time. Since her husband’s death, gardening has become her livelihood and her salvation. Hiding out in the North Carolina forest, she wants only to be left alone with Isaac and her greenhouse. 

New to the area, successful software developer James Nealy needs a garden. On a solitary mission to reclaim his life from irrational obsessions and relentless compulsions, he has a plan: to conquer his greatest fear. Dirt. One glimpse - or two - of Tilly’s garden, and he knows she holds the key. But when he asks her to take him on as a client, she refuses. 

After a family emergency pulls Tilly and Isaac back to her native England, she’s quietly happy, because nothing has changed in her childhood village. Or has it? Her first love is unexpectedly single, her mother is scheming, and her best friend is keeping secrets. Then James appears on her doorstep. 

Tenuous at first, but gradually taking root, James and Tilly forge an unlikely bond. As they work together to rescue a garden choked by neglect, they unearth each other’s secrets, each other’s fears, each other’s hopes - and maybe, a shared second chance.  

©2012 Barbara Claypole White (P)2019 Spoken Realms

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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • jake
  • 02/09/2019

A decent read

Enough to keep me going for the finish, but it left me feeling ready to leave it behind. It does have the makings of a decent YA read, but not quite mature enough for other populations. The topics that were covered (grief, mental health, self acceptance, acceptance, a bit of travel) should have been enough to leave the reader in deep thought. But, nope. Kind of glad it's over.

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