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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 Keyeven If She Doesn T Think SoAfter 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 NoWhen 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 DoorstepAway 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


10 thoughts on “The Unfinished Garden

  1. says:

    About fifteen minutes ago I finished reading The Unfinished Garden Coming to the end is bittersweet, really For the last week, I ve carried Barbara Claypole White s novel with me everywhere, picking it up in spare moments, even if only to read a few sentences before moving on to my next task I must admit that I attempted to race through each page, eager to uncover and of the saga between Tilly and James however, I was constantly slowed down by the sheer beauty of the author s words, the emotional depth of the characters, and the richness of the unfolding plot I m so grateful for all that Claypole White taught me about OCD through The Unfinished Garden I ve dreamed of being a writer ever since I was a little girl, and it is truly a joy to come across a book such as this one that does than entertain me one that inspires me As I was reading, I would often stop just to savor a scene, soaking in every ounce of the vivid description, imagining that I was exploring the Chase or lounging in a lush meadow The author has an amazing ability to weave words together in a way that feels effortless, as if those exact words were always intended to be melded together into beautiful prose although, I am sure that the author took great care in selecting each word, each phrase, each sentence of every paragraph, of every page, of every chapter it certainly shows Claypole White has created a work of art, a true masterpiece I love how she eagerly invited me, her devoted reader, right into the thick of the story Claypole White brought me into the complex minds of James and Tilly, sharing their deepest thoughts in a way that blended their reality with my own Their honestly often made me laugh out loud, thinking to myself something like that is so Tilly as if we ve known each other for ages The author has created characters that could not be real if they were sitting with me now, sharing a cup of tea and enjoying the quiet of the evening I am a voracious reader, and I can honestly say that The Unfinished Garden is a rare gem well written, witty, inspiring, heart felt, emotional, thought provoking, and magical After reading The Unfinished Garden, I only have one unanswered question is it too soon to read it again


  2. says:

    This is a harlequin I did not know that when I started If you like romance novels, you will likely love it It is atmospheric, there is good romantic tension, and there are interesting plot devices like OCD and unexplained guilt That, however, was not what I was looking for.My favorite line, un ironically uttered by Our Hero You re in danger, Matilda Rose, of becoming my greatest obsession It pretty much sums the book up If this book were a movie, that would totally be the tag line.When I downloaded this novel for free, granted from , I thought that I was getting a regular novel about a guy with OCD interesting and a gardening widow dealing with their lives and growing as people through their interactions with each other while planting What I got instead was a romance novel No bodices were ripped, but the romantic relationship was the main and possibly sole focus of the book.The only real nitpick I have with the book is that, well, I don t know a lot about OCD, but I was really looking forward to reading a novel in which the disorder is thoughtfully and thoroughly described see Lisa Genova s novels as an example of this being done well While I am told that the OCD in this novel is correctly portrayed, it is treated mainly as a plot device The attention that is paid to it seems to intensify and wane as needed to forward the action and relationship between the two main characters, and isn t dealt with in any real, thoughtful way For me, that was a disappointment.I realize I m rather alone right now in posting a less than glowing review of this book, but I m always interested in hearing what people were disappointed with in books as well as what they liked, and I hope others feel the same.


  3. says:

    The English author H E Bates said that a finished garden is a dead garden She held his gaze and sensed the ebb and flow of her breath matching his It ll take a lifetime A garden s a work in progress without end I m seriously going to have to stop underestimating books that masquarade as cookie cutter chick lit offerings You know, the ones in laminated paper back on the library shelf with a cute cover First, it was Heartstone, most recently it was The Unfinished Garden Meet Matilda Rose You can call her Tilly for short Born and raised in a small village in England, she moved to the United States with her husband as a young adult They settled in the North Carolina countryside, and had a son, Isaaic Then disaster struck her husband, David, lies critically ill in an intensive care unit, intubated Tilly must decide whether to honor her husband s wishes and inact his living will Her decision leaves her widowedand racked with both grief and guilt She turns to gardening as a panacea for both herself and her son.Fast forward three years, and James moves to North Carolina in an attempt to navigate his difficult past He battles Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is hoping to enrole in a clinical trial at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill He wonders if gardening might give him the mental help he needs while waiting for the clinical trial to begin His search for a gardening center leads him to Tilly s growing business Tilly is sympathetic to James, but feels she has too much on her plate to help a needy customer design his entire home landscape Her mother still in England , took a tumble thanks to her dog, and broke her leg It s suddenly clear to Tilly that her mother is aging, and needs her there until the cast comes off Returning to England brings her back in touch with her childhood best friendand her first boyfriend Then James OCD brings him to England a serious stretch of plausability to be sure , and Tilly finds unexpected comfort rehabilitating an old garden with James.Bottom line As mentioned before, this is a Harlequin romance While a serious step above most books in the genre, it still follows the predictable plot format to a degree Also, like most genre books, this is told in first person POV, and Tilly keeps up an internal monologue which is exhausting at times Claypole White managed to infuse enough humor to keep me turning the pages though So what elevated it to 3 stars First, OCD is portrayed quite well, and I loved how White brought attention to the disease I loved even that she fully developed James, and didn t just focus on his OCD People with a mental disorder are so much than their diagnosisjust like someone with diabetes, or leukemia Second, she handles the subject of learning to love after grief expertly as well I loved the following quote I will always love your father But I also believe that the human heart is like a pie Isaac yawned What do we do with our pies Slice them up and share the pieces You can never reclaim a piece, but there s always to give I gave you and Daddy the biggest slices, and one day I might give away Will you give James a slice of your pie Why would you ask that When you walk away, James watches you go And then he watches for you to come back He watches you a lot Haven t you noticed Finally, she did a great job showing than just a romantic relationship She explored the love between a mother and her daughter, the daughter and her son, and best friends Know going in that there is some cussing it didn t bother me, but is a tad bit unusual for the genre Given 3 stars or a rating of Good Recommended as a library checkout To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun A time to be born and a time to die a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is plantedA time to onand a time to say goodbye.


  4. says:

    I finished this most readable book a month or so ago and have been dilly dallying about writing a review Why I felt guilty.This well written story had enough psychological tension to inspire me to pick it up over and over to see how single mom Tilly reconciles her present widowhood in North Carolina with her formative past in England, as represented by new yet complicated possibility James, and the Englishman who was her hot yet unresolved first love.The only thing that keeps me from a five star rating was Tilly s ever present and constantly swirling inner monologue, that sometimes had her contradicting herself I m all for the type of inner conflict that drives a story like this, and this book had plenty of it, but this inner roiling sometimes had the effect of obscuring rather than defining that conflict.Here s where the guilt sets in this book is about appreciating the goodness in someone s heart despite individual differences James, a beautiful character who suffers from OCD, teaches this And Tilly is as good as they come, keeping an open mind and letting curiosity and the desire to learn trump all.So, she talks to herself a lot That s her thing One month out from reading this book, I still think about her, and James, and this individual difference is fading from view as the novel s strengths, and message that we all need nurturing so we can continue to grow, grow ever brighter.Well worth reading.


  5. says:

    I just closed the pages of this beautiful book with tears in my eyes and hope for humanity.Set in the US and the UK, The Unfinished Garden is the story of a widow and her son trying to make a new place in the world Tilly can either choose to recreate her past with an old love, Sebastian, or forge ahead with a new future, and James neither choice is easy, but one will save her Dealing with family issues of caring for ailing parents, raising children well, OCD, and physical ailments, The Unfinished Garden takes on multiple life challenges with honesty and clarity The characters face real dilemmas, and when the novel is complete though resolution isn t always tidy it is fulfilling I will miss these characters, and I will be a lifelong fan of Barbara White I highly recommend this novel.


  6. says:

    This is a great first book by a local author I loved reading about a gardener as the main character since I am a gardener myself It takes place in two places that I love North Carolina and England Ms White does a great job of telling the tales of a widow who is recovering from her husband s death and a man who is dealing with OCD I have had experience with both and she does a wonderful job writing about the characters emotions and actions I am looking forward to from Ms White in the future.


  7. says:

    I received an early review copy of The Unfinished Garden from NetGalley This was truly a lovely story Major characters, Tilly and James, and minor characters, Isaac, Rowena, and Sebastian, effectively play off each other s strengths and foibles to explore their feelings of loss and grief, and in turn, their joy and rediscovery of hope and trust Readers will enjoy the lush setting details in both venues North Carolina and rural England, as well as Claypole White s use of gardening as metaphor I found the writing style in The Unfinished Garden reminiscent of both Rosamunde and Robin Pilcher, though perhaps leaning toward Robin from the standpoint of the love story As a fan of both, I truly enjoyed the book and look forward to many from Barbara Claypole White.


  8. says:

    Barbara Claypole White gifts the reader with a lush setting, a heartbroken heroine, and a hero with a crippling disability in this unusual and lovely novel The author describes the beauty of North Carolina and England, the two primary settings, with vivid details that transport the reader Some of my favorite passages are the descriptions of the landscape and the gardens Tilly is trying to keep herself and her young son together following her husband s premature death and is a compelling character OCD has wrecked the hero s life and James is intent that Tilly and her garden hold the key to his freedom from the disability Fascinating insight in to OCD and the dynamics of a family trying to cope with it.


  9. says:

    The book is at it s best when the author just lets it flow I like the characters of Tilly, her family, and friends, I love the way Jame s OCD is handled, I even liked the stuff about gardening, which isn t normally a topic to draw me An enjoyable story with some meat to it, and a pleasing romance I look forward to from this author Updated 10 11 2012 Attended a reading talk last night with the author, in recognition of OCD awareness week She was amazing, charming, forthright, and engaging If you get a chance to see hear, you really should.


  10. says:

    The Unfinished Garden is a beautiful story I don t read romance but the writing here is so textural and the voice is so rich that I fell into it and couldn t put it down The story and the relationships have substance and it is the characters enduring faults and strengths that make them so lovable An absolutely lovely book, a memorable one.