Release date: April 1, 2018
Publisher: Lake Union
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Paige Moresco found her true love in eighth grade—and lost him two years ago. Since his death, she’s been sleepwalking through life, barely holding on for the sake of her teenage son. Her house is a wreck, the grass is overrun with weeds, and she’s at risk of losing her job. As Paige stares at her neglected lawn, she knows she’s hit rock bottom. So she does something entirely unexpected: she begins to dig.
As the hole gets bigger, Paige decides to turn her entire yard into a vegetable garden. The neighbors in her tidy gated community are more than a little alarmed. Paige knows nothing about gardening, and she’s boldly flouting neighborhood-association bylaws. But with the help of new friends, a charming local cop, and the transformative power of the soil, Paige starts to see potential in the chaos of her life. Something big is beginning to take root—both in her garden and in herself.
Based solely on the blurb I figured that Digging In would be a fairly heavy read, following Paige as she works through her grief after losing her husband. While grief is definitely at the core of this novel, it wasn’t depressing or bleak, instead it was full of humor, wit and heart which was just such a breath of fresh air.
Sadly, Nyhan lost her own husband so she has firsthand experience in the way a widow may feel and behave, and while she acknowledges that her situation wasn’t exactly like Paige’s, the authenticity is heavily apparent, Paige was incredibly well drawn. This isn’t a story about a bereaved woman who does everything perfectly and makes no mistakes. It’s a realistic portrayal of a woman living the unthinkable who is just doing her best. She’s trying, and at the end of the day, who can’t relate to someone who is simply trying to do their best?
This was an effortless read, I flew through it and loved every single page. Yes, there were sad moments especially watching Paige’s son, Trey deal with the loss of his father two years on, his struggle broke me. But ultimately this was full of life, vitality and humor, the messy side of life, the things that aren’t pretty, but it was honest and really beautifully done.
Digging In in three words: Wise, Witty and Affecting.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.