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Abbi Waxman Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Garden of Small Beginnings (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Other People's Houses (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Abbi Waxman is an English author best known for writing contemporary romance novels with a touch of humor. She was born to two copywriters and had her father ran away from home after telling her mother he was going out to buy cigarettes. Her mother would go on to make a highly successful career as a fiction writer despite being left all alone to take care of the children. She encouraged her children Emily and Abbi to read everything they had in the home library and brought them more from the city library. Abbi who never liked to dress up and considered herself too lazy, ventured into advertising where she was a copywriter and the creative director with some of the leading agencies in New York and London. Some of her clients were the traditional and big corporations such as Mercedes Benz, Unilever, American Express, IBM, Chase Manhattan Bank, AT&T, to the morally corrupt such as Enron and R.J. Reynolds. She would later work as a ghost writer for Nicole Ritchie before she quit advertising to venture into writing fiction, screenplays, and TV shows. Her debut novel was the critically acclaimed “The Garden of Small Beginnings” that was first published in 2017. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles alongside three children, six chickens, two mice, a gecko, three cats, and three dogs.

Abbi Waxman’s novels are contemporary novels full of humor and relatable characters. However, even with its sarcastic, witty, and humorous commentary, the novels are full of heart in their telling of the stories of struggle of the lead characters who have to deal with life’s hardest challenges. Nonetheless even as they have a serious and sad tone in some parts, the narratives are about the journey of the character towards growth. They are not the typical contemporary romance with the usual panty dropping affairs, but rather stories of subtle, patient, and gentle romance that sprouts from taking chances presented. The characters funny, eccentric and quirky as they are, are an amazing bunch that will have the reader want to spend time with them. Lilian from “The Garden of Small Beginnings” is a frazzled mother full of courage and heart that is determined to never give up no matter the circumstances. The more one gets to know the characters the more they become lovable and relatable even if some of the characters have narcissistic temperaments and dark pasts. Overall, the novels are about overcoming grief and dealing with life’s obstacles told in a funny and humorous manner. For the characters it is all about moving forward, taking chances, and never letting life’s challenges hold you back from what you can be.

Waxman’s novels explore various themes including unexpected experiences, first impressions, relationships between family members and even mundane things such as hobbies that may result in experiences that turn out to be fun and therapeutic. They are fascinating dances between neighbors, sisters, husbands and wives, and children who deal with the challenge of trying to find flavor in life which can sometimes result in terrible consequences. She tells of the repercussions of bad choices that persons in a neighborhood may find themselves sucked into without even wanting to. Persons can find themselves questioning their relationships, overthinking, and soul searching when they learn about what happens behind the closed doors of the seemingly happy and perfect family. Abbi is an expert at taking a simple premise and making it into a gratifying and amusing story with oftentimes crude and unexpected humor and snippets of mundane life thrown in for good measure. She tells of every day couples that talk about their days late into the night while patting their dogs, passing gas, and searching for missing nail clippers. They are sizzling stories that burn hot right from the beginning to the very end as the characters experience personal development that sets the tone on how they react to familial and personal challenges in life.

“The Garden of Small Beginnings” is a believable, original, funny, and poignant novel about grief and loss. The lead in the novel is Lilian Girvan a single mother that lost her husband in a car accident leaving her a single mother. It has been a tough time for the young mother as she has dealt with suicidal thoughts and several mental breakdowns. But finally she is getting the hang of being a widow as she is now watching TV, showing up to work on the regular, and taking her two children to school. The only problem is that having lived a life full of intensity, she finds herself so bored with the daily drudgery. She finds a little excitement from her work as she can be called upon to illustrate the weirdest of things such as whale genitalia. Her boss had also signed her up for a vegetable gardening class as he needs her to learn about boutique vegetable guides she will be illustrating. But she finds digging around in compost far much preferable to wallowing in self pity and pajamas on a Saturday morning. She manages to get her sister and two girls to join her and shows up at the Los Angeles Botanical Gardens to start the assignment. Thrown into a group of quirky gardeners and a patient instructor, she soon learns that every life deserves a little sunshine to grow, even if you do not want it.

“Other People’s Houses” is a poignant and hilarious second novel by Abbi Waxman. It is a novel about a neighborhood carpool, four families, and an affair that threatens to tear the community apart. Frances Bloom is a carpool mother that often finds herself the unwitting witness to her neighbors’ deepest secrets. She knows that Mrs Horton has gone missing and that her cousin wants a new child but has not yet mustered the courage to tell her husband. After the shock of seeing Anne Porter making love to a man that was definitely not Mr. Porter, Frances resolves to stick to her lane. But that is easier said then done particularly when Mr. Porter throws out his wife barely a week after. The repercussions of the extra marital affair could have consequences for all the families in the neighborhood and Frances needs to navigate a moral minefield that puts a lot of strain on her marriage. It is a heartfelt narrative about the mystery, the insecurities, and the doubts of raising children, life and love and everything else thrown in.

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