Happy Monday!! Today I’m on the blog tour for the Audio book of The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White, a fantastic story of love, doubt, obsessions and second chances…..
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.
“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
Tilly lives for gardening and her son Isaac. After losing her Husband she’s trying to repair her shattered heart by focussing on her business. One day James turns up, new to area and in need of someone to transform his garden, he reaches out to Tilly….he NEEDS her to do it but she refuses.
We soon learn that James has OCD, a constant battle for him and he can’t help the way he feels about Tilly and the fact that she’s the only woman who can do his garden. But then she flies home to England after her Mum has a fall but James can’t leave it alone – he needs to know if she’ll take him on as a client.
Returning home for Tilly isn’t as easy as she’d imagined when she learns that her ex Sebastian is back in town and living with her best friend Ro. So now, not only does she have to try and mend her heart but she has to deal with any lingering feelings for Sebastian. She has an agreement with James that she will give him an answer by a certain date but then she has her own issues to deal with, and missed the deadline. Unable to deal with it, James jumps on a plane and turns up at Tilly’s family home…..
Although slightly freaked out by this, Tilly and James start to build a friendship as she learns about him and his past, and what he has to contend with on a daily basis. But will she be able to cope with it? How will she deal with Sebastian being around? And does James have other things in mind other than his garden?
I loved this! An amazing story of heartbreak, obsession, daily struggles, anxiety, doubt, denial, love and second chances. And there are twists and turns that you wouldn’t expect.
I absolutely love Tilly – a woman who has been through, and is going through, so much but tries to stay strong for everyone around her. James is amazing, and the author has done such a good job and raising the issue of OCD and the things that come with it. James is so strong and brave with the things he faces, overcoming so many things he is terrified of. The supporting cast are also fantastic!
The story really does give such a thorough insight into OCD and the fact that it’s not just a case of ‘making sure things are lined up straight’ or ‘flicking the light switch a few times’. It’s much deeper than that, and people living with OCD have so much to contend with. It is definitely an eye-opener and will leave you thinking.
You honestly have no idea if the story will have a happy ending or not. Although you are routing for it all the way through!
Absolutely brilliant, thrilling story – one that will give you all the feels. Highly recommended.
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
tour hosted by
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and the Barbara for providing me with the audiobook in return for an honest review.
Hope you all have an amazing week!