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Book Review: The Unfinished Garden

September 20th, 2012

When asked to review of a new novel, I accepted the challenge. I’m not really much of a novel reader, generally I prefer something I can glean information from or biographies. Novels should appear on my list more often and what a better way for it to happen.

The Unfinished Garden arrived at the perfect time, just after we finished our upstairs project. I had no mental capacity for learning much of anything and needed something that wasn’t tedious to read. One afternoon, I sat down with a cup of coffee and settled in for some much needed reading time.

This novel has a gardening theme woven throughout seem more engaging to me, being a gardener myself. The author is an avid gardener and you can really tell. I e-mailed Barbara Claypole White and asked d for a few photos of her garden to share with you. She happily obliged and even sent along this lovely image of her mom’s garden over in England. All the rest of the garden photos in this post are of her garden.

I have to admit that I was a bit nervous that this was going to be a cheesy romance novel, which are on the way bottom of my reading list, in fast they never make it on the list. I nervously cracked the book bracing myself for the worst. The book was finished in just a few sittings, generally the mark of a good book. If I find myself wanting to continue reading way past my bedtime, it’s an engaging story.

This story intrigued me for a few reasons. One being that the main character is a widow. I have a very dear friend who lost her husband after only a few years of marriage at a young age. She definitely came to mind often while reading this book.

I won’t be telling you all about the book here, I am the type of person who doesn’t like to read descriptions before cracking the cover of a book. I like to fully discover the story without any preconceived notions about the book.

I will tell you, if you enjoy a good novel and enjoy gardening, I think you’ll find this book engaging.

Now that I have read the book, I no longer need my copy. If you’d like to find a copy of this book in your mailbox, comment below and I’ll choose a winner next week. Winner chosen. Kimberly who said: “I would love to read the book – it sounds wonderful! What lovely pictures of the garden!” As an added bonus, I’m sending this book along to Barabara Claypole-White the author, she’s going to sign it and send it along to you Kimberly. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite kind of book to read?

62 Comments to “Book Review: The Unfinished Garden”
  1. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on September 21, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I read about half-and-half fiction and non-fiction.

    Fiction wise, I like coming of age stories, (19th-20th) historical fiction, and, my guilty pleasure, EOTWAWKI/post-apocalypse stories. I think the latter to is because there is often some sort of “making do” or DIY culture element to them.

    Non-fiction, I read a fair chunk of (social) history, political/sociological stuff, psychology and linguistics. I think I’m generally interested in how people work on many different levels – possibly as a defense tactic because I’m generally scared of them!

    Having said all that though, I generally cast my net widely and read anything I catch. I can find something to like/learn from in just about any book.

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

  2. KimH on September 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

    My reading tastes are all over the place. I really love learning/reference type books for the area of my focus at the moment, meaning, gardening, herbs, aromatherapy, cookbooks, etc etc.. but occasionally I’ll need some mental “downtime” and read either auto &/or biographies, If Im really in serious need of mental down time, I’ll even pick up romances though they have to take place either in an era I love learning about or regarding a social group of peoples I enjoy reading about. I usually dont pick them up but every 5 or so years… and I’ll read a bunch of them, and then Im done for another 5 or so years. :)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  3. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours on September 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this book and that it came at the perfect time! And what a great idea to include photos of the author’s own garden!

    Thanks so much for being on the tour. I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

    Reply to Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours's comment

  4. Jill on September 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I like to read books where I come out knowing more about something than before I read it – so biographies and reference-type books are at the top of my list. But, I have really enjoyed novels that have taught me about a place or a historical event in the context of a story.
    This sounds like a good book, but, like you, I hesitate to read the synopsis. :)

    Reply to Jill's comment

  5. Kat on September 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I enjoy all types of books, but my favorites have always been fiction. The story needs to have something engaging to draw me in and most recently that has been fantasy. After loving the movie The Princess Bride for as long as I can remember, I finally sat down to read the book recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. Almost the same dialogue from the movie, but with so much more back story to fill in the gaps. Definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys the movie.

    Reply to Kat's comment

  6. Deb on September 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I like any book about gardening so would love to win. Thanks for the give-away.

    Reply to Deb's comment

  7. Rebecca on September 21, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I love a good book. It’s been awhile since I’ve had an enjoyable read.

    Reply to Rebecca's comment

  8. Jenny on September 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I’m an omnivore when it comes to reading–love biographies, adventure and simple lifelstyle sorts of nonfiction, a cozy mystery, and plain old fiction, too.

    Reply to Jenny's comment

  9. Tammey on September 24, 2012 at 3:12 am

    I need to do more reading just for pleasure! I tend to always go toward the “learning something new” books. This looks like an easy read to take to the beach! Thank you for sharing!
    I hope Dexter is being a good boy :)

    Reply to Tammey's comment

  10. jules on September 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Oh my, I love all types of books. I think the ones I like alot are the old ones of explorers (original NatGeo guys) that went to unexplored territories and countries and came back and wrote their tales for the Royal Society of Finding New Things (or whatever they were called way back then). Other than that, books that have a theme or refrain of what I like and am interested in. I was into Biographies for a while.

    Thanks for the chance to win this book!

    Reply to jules's comment

  11. Deborahjean on September 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I adore the garden pictures so much,,,I would love to read this book and then pass it on…..Thank you for the chance…..

    Reply to Deborahjean's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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