I am pleased to be a part of The Unfinished Garden Official Audiobook Blog Tour. This wonderful novel is now finally out on audio and is available now. I was fortunate enough to listen to a copy and enjoy this lovely story for the very first time.
About the Audiobook
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.
The Unfinished Garden is my first Barbara Claypole White novel and I wonder to myself after reading it why such a wonderful book had not crossed my radar sooner.
After reading the synopsis on the back of the book, you really don’t know that you are about to enter into a novel about some very damaged people with very real problems. There is at least one character in this book that the reader can relate to in some way. Ms. White is able to write about the complicated diagnosis of OCD in a way that allows the reader to have a better understanding of the disease from the sufferers point of view, and I learned more about it from her than I ever knew from being a nurse.
The authors writing style was clever and entertaining, it draws you to the characters and the story to a point where hours have gone by and you are unable to walk away until you reach the ending. If I was holding the book, I would call it “unputdownable.” (Heaven forbid the phone rings while listening to this audiobook version). The dialogue is spot on and engaging, amusing at times, to the point where you find yourself laughing out loud.
Tilly and James are very real people, they could be standing next to us in the grocery store right now (well, maybe not James, but you get the idea), you never really know what a person is carrying with them every day of their life, even though you may see a smile on their face. The supporting cast comes along with its own baggage too, everyone dealing with their own issues, which makes you realize how tough life can be on a daily basis and that everyone has real problems.
It’s clear that when writing this book Barbara Claypole White put a lot of time into researching her topics, not only professionally but on a personal basis as her son also deals with OCD. Her use of gardening, although one of her pastimes is a beautiful symbol for life, growth, and death.
When I was asked to do a review on an audio book for a book tour at first I was hesitant. I listen to audiobooks, but you never know what you are going to get into when choosing one. You ask yourself if you will like the narrators, will the story read aloud well, how well will the narrators perform the book? The Unfinished Garden did not disappoint. I was impressed by Anna Clements and Paul Heitsch’s narration and felt that they were able to relate the story in the way Barbara Claypole White intended it to be heard. It was heartfelt, emotional and extremely entertaining.
This book gets a 5 star review from me, it checks off all my boxes. It is written well, has an amazing story line, good character development, and has left me thinking about the characters and the story well after I’ve finished it. Most importantly it checks off my 5th star box, it makes me wish I could forget everything I just read and relive the entire exhilarating “initial” experience by rereading it all over again. Now that’s the best kind of book for me. I will definitely be recommending The Unfinished Garden to my fellow book readers.
A Little Praise
“Claypole White does not merely write about people with mental illness—she inhabits them.” Lee Smith, New York Times bestseller author
“Claypole White’s gift is her ability to put us into the troubled minds of her characters in a way that helps us not only understand them but fall in love with them as well. We discover that while their minds may be different from ours, their hearts are the same.” Diane Chamberlain, New York Times bestselling author
“A fabulous debut novel, The Unfinished Garden easily earns Romance Junkies’ highest rating of five blue ribbons and a recommended read status for its unpredictable originality! So good!” Romance Junkies
“The Unfinished Garden is a powerful story of friendship and courage in the midst of frightening circumstances … I highly recommend this wonderful love story.” Bergers’ Book Reviews
“Claypole White … conveys the condition of OCD, and how it creates havoc in one’s life and the lives of loved ones, with style and grace, never underplaying the seriousness of the disorder.” Romantic Times
Purchase the book
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About the Author
Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White writes hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Born in England, she works and gardens in the forests of North Carolina, where she lives with her family. Her novels include: The Unfinished Garden, which won the Golden Quill for Best First Book;The In-Between Hour, a SIBA Okra Pick;The Perfect Son, a Goodreads Choice Awards Semi-finalist; Echoes of Family, aWFWA Star Award Finalist; and The Promise Between Us, a 2018 Nautilus Award Winner. Barbara is an OCD advocate for the nonprofit A2A Alliance, which promotes advocacy over adversity.
To connect with her, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com
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