The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White

The Unfinished Garden
Author: Barbara Claypole White
Genre: Fiction
Format: ebook
Publisher: Harlequin/Mira
Release Date: 8-28-12
James Nealy is haunted by irrational fears and inescapable compulsions. A successful software developer, he’s thrown himself into a new goal—to finally conquer the noise in his mind. And he has a plan. He’ll confront his darkest fears and build something beautiful: a garden. When he meets Tilly Silverberg, he knows she holds the key…even if she doesn’t think so.After her husband’s death, gardening became Tilly’s livelihood and her salvation. Her thriving North Carolina business and her young son, Isaac, are the excuses she needs to hide from the world. So when oddly attractive, incredibly tenacious James demands that she take him on as a client, her answer is a flat no.When a family emergency lures Tilly back to England, she’s secretly glad. With Isaac in tow, she retreats to her childhood village, which has always stayed obligingly the same. Until now. Her best friend is keeping secrets. Her mother is plotting. Her first love is unexpectedly, temptingly available. And then James appears on her doorstep. Away from home, James and Tilly forge an unlikely bond, tenuous at first but taking root every day. And as they work to build a garden together, something begins to blossom between them—despite all the reasons against it. – Goodreads

The Unfinished Garden initially centers around Tilly, a widow, who is raising her son and keeping up with a gardening business.  Her meeting with James, who suffers from OCD, starts a journey that follows her to her native England.  Although the premise of James following her overseas is a bit far fetched in my mind, his OCD was written about very realistically and he develops as a sympathetically flawed character.  Although I never really felt connected to the people in the sub-plot, I did appreciate the author’s honest and straightforward writing about past relationships and doubts that everyone faces in their lives.

Everyone in this story has their issues and the believable characters are the strong point in this story.  It is a very realistic portrayal of the intertwining of lives and how our past relationships can’t always live up to who we have become.  I have to say that  it was refreshing to have a book that examined that in a real way instead of simply throwing two long lost loves back together.  The acknowledgement that people change and relationships can evolve was a refreshing plot.  In the end, it became a book about reconciling the past, appreciating what it gave you, but learning to move into new relationships, as well. 

This book earned 3.5 birds rounded up to 4:
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I received this book as a galley from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Find Barbara Claypole White online:
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Kate @ Ex Libris

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126 responses to “The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White

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