Digging In

Digging In

Listening Length: 7 hours and 18 minutesIn author Loretta Nyhan’s warm, witty, and wonderful novel, a widow discovers an unexpected chance to start over—right in her own backyard.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...

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Title:Digging In
Author:Loretta Nyhan
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Edition Language:English

Digging In Reviews

  • Barbara White

    I want to scream from the rooftops, "I love this book!" What a delightful, funny, authentic, and rather wise story about the healing power of gardening and the struggle to re-root yourself after crippling loss. Paige is an extraordinary heroine: smart, funny, kind, outspoken, quirky. You feel the rawness of her grief, but there's no sentimentality, and she has cracking good lines, such as: "I'm trying to bring me back" or "I pressed the 'Pause' button on life, and then lost the remote."

    The supp

    I want to scream from the rooftops, "I love this book!" What a delightful, funny, authentic, and rather wise story about the healing power of gardening and the struggle to re-root yourself after crippling loss. Paige is an extraordinary heroine: smart, funny, kind, outspoken, quirky. You feel the rawness of her grief, but there's no sentimentality, and she has cracking good lines, such as: "I'm trying to bring me back" or "I pressed the 'Pause' button on life, and then lost the remote."

    The supporting cast of characters is equally wonderful and off-beat: Officer Leprechaun who's first line to Paige had me in hysterics; Trey, the teenager who struggles to understand why his mother is tearing up their back yard and refuses to learn how to drive; the grumpy neighbor with his own issues; and Paige's ragtag crew of new friends--coworkers in her dysfunctional office and the organic gardener with carrots in her hair. If you want to find humor, hope, and pure entertainment, this is the book for you. Did I mention that I loved it?

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    Guys, this book wrecked me. I've been a fan of Loretta's writing since her previous novel, 

    , was released. I was left itching for more of her witty charm and boy, did I find it here. Her novels are emotional for sure, but they still manage to deal with tough themes in an upbeat and hilarious way. When I pick up one of her books, I feel as though instead of re

    Guys, this book wrecked me. I've been a fan of Loretta's writing since her previous novel, 

    , was released. I was left itching for more of her witty charm and boy, did I find it here. Her novels are emotional for sure, but they still manage to deal with tough themes in an upbeat and hilarious way. When I pick up one of her books, I feel as though instead of reading the book, she's relaying it to me over a glass of wine. It gives the impression we're just two good friends curled up on the couch and she's telling me the latest tale that's manifested in her brain. It's rare for this to happen for me, but when it does, these books receive an automatic 5 star rating and glowing review.

    Before I jump into the book itself, I think it's important to note that you're getting as authentic of a story as possible when it comes to 

    . Nyhan has written in detail about the experience on her Goodreads review of this book (found

    ), but I'll give you the spark notes version. A few years ago the author's husband left to play a round of golf and had a fatal heart attack right on the green. She took this experience and turned it into a novel about how to find yourself again when the unthinkable happens and how to work through grief when it feels as if there's nowhere to go from there. If you are the type of reader who connects with fiction that is propelled by real experiences, this alone should put the book on your TBR.

    If you decide to pick up 

    , you'll find our main character Paige is struggling to cope with the loss of her husband Jesse two years after the tragic car wreck that took his life. Her teenage son Trey is struggling in his own way too, and the mother-son relationship is taking it's toll as well. 

     Paige has most certainly hit rock bottom when she suffers another tough loss and her job is on the line. After a hazy night of weepy drinking, she wakes up with a pounding headache and a giant hole in her backyard. What follows is a journey of new beginnings-new friendships, new hobbies, new opportunities, and new love. There is a whole lot of self healing, along with a healing that bleeds out into a myriad of other relationships too. By the end of the book, you're left in a place of healthy, hopeful bliss, a place only Nyhan could take us to.

    While this novel is for everyone, I do think a number of seasoned mothers and 40-somethings will really appreciate the themes and connect with the characters. There's so much relatable here to the hard working female who has done her job well for decades, only to find herself being pushed out by the younger, fresh crowd. I know the overall theme of grief sounds heavy and depressing, but honestly it was a joy to read this story! I did shed a few tears, but the majority of the novel's tone is upbeat and flat out hilarious. I was doubled over laughing, I was crying, and I was moved. I'm not sure what else I could want from a story, and for that reason alone I will sing 

    's praises from the highest rooftop to anyone who will listen. Highly, HIGHLY recommended if you enjoy a feel good novel about love and loss. Don't forget that this is a Kindle First pick for the month of March 2018; if you're an Amazon Prime member that means you can download it this month for free! If you're not a prime member, it's only $1.99! <3

  • Dee Arr

    There’s something special in this book, hidden between the pages yet shared with us at the same time. Author Loretta Nyhan has shared a humorous yet realistic vision of one woman’s reborn hope and persistence, even when faced with the collapse of everything that meant something to her.

    This is the situation facing Paige. Her husband is gone, and the company she has worked at for years is heaving with new (and somewhat off-the-wall) changes. Her teenage son is experiencing difficulties, and like

    There’s something special in this book, hidden between the pages yet shared with us at the same time. Author Loretta Nyhan has shared a humorous yet realistic vision of one woman’s reborn hope and persistence, even when faced with the collapse of everything that meant something to her.

    This is the situation facing Paige. Her husband is gone, and the company she has worked at for years is heaving with new (and somewhat off-the-wall) changes. Her teenage son is experiencing difficulties, and like many parents, she is not sure what words and actions will fix his issues. Nor does she know how to fix her own.

    I began reading this book and didn’t realize how wrapped up I was in the story until I found myself at the final chapter. This is a smart, entertaining book that never gets sassy and deals with adult issues just as we would experience them: with humor, anger, straight-forward thinking, and sometimes a touch of wonder that we did so well at something new. Five stars.

  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    What a delightful, sparkling and hopeful story. I had no idea what I was walking into. When Ashley at Amazon Publishing brought me this copy, I think she knew this wasn't my usual type of read... and then told me it was worth it and it absolutely IS!

    The only thing I could even nitpick at is that I felt Paige was portrayed older than her forty-three years of age. Maybe it's because that is exactly how old I am and she felt older to me. We're also completely opposite people. I know I look young f

    What a delightful, sparkling and hopeful story. I had no idea what I was walking into. When Ashley at Amazon Publishing brought me this copy, I think she knew this wasn't my usual type of read... and then told me it was worth it and it absolutely IS!

    The only thing I could even nitpick at is that I felt Paige was portrayed older than her forty-three years of age. Maybe it's because that is exactly how old I am and she felt older to me. We're also completely opposite people. I know I look young for my age, I definitely act younger, never been married and no kids so......... basically I couldn't really relate to her. HOWEVER, I absolutely fell in love with her. Her snarkiness, her wit, her will to thrive in a company she's been at for years now over powered by young thoughts and new action plans. YOU GO GIRL! In this power hungry world of ours, people do tend to feel outdated and struggle with having to start over once you hit your 40s. I've already done it a couple of times and thankfully things have worked in the positive but I GET IT - it's hard out there!

    I think this book will resonate with anyone who has dealt with any kind of loss, looking to find a way to work through the grief and dealing with all types of personalities. Maybe this will resonate more for women in their 40s, or mothers and widows who have been THROUGH IT. Either way, you get an incredible story.

    You know what REALLY did it for me? The acknowledgments from the author. I'm telling you, readers, if you don't read these in the books that you do pick up, you're doing yourself a huge disservice. The author talks about how she had to deal with her own husband's unexpected death and how it stopped her from continuing to write this book for quite some time. So a lot of her own experiences leap off of these pages - even if her and Paige's occurrences were completely different. Reading about this just launched this book up to one of my favorite reads so far this year. It was exactly what I needed right now.

    Love is unexpected. Love is powerful and all consuming. Love HURTS. Grief is horrible, whether dealing with the end of a relationship or the actual loss of a living human being. Learn to grow. Learn to forgive. Learn to hold on while letting go. Learn to LIVE.

    All the tomatoes and stars for this emotional, yet funny, read. DIG IN.

    Huge thank you to Amazon Publishing and Lake Union for this amazing read.

  • Amy

    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 Pai

    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.

  • Janelle

    Thank you so much to Amazon Publishing for providing my copy of DIGGING IN by Loretta Nyhan - all opinions are my own.

    Paige once lived harmoniously with her husband and teenage son in a nice, safe life. But after her husband’s sudden death, Paige’s grief takes ahold of her. They lived in their own world for so long, but that world shattered, leaving emptiness, loneliness, and pain. Now, for the past two years Paige has been sleepwalking through life, inadvertently neglecting her job, her son, an

    Thank you so much to Amazon Publishing for providing my copy of DIGGING IN by Loretta Nyhan - all opinions are my own.

    Paige once lived harmoniously with her husband and teenage son in a nice, safe life. But after her husband’s sudden death, Paige’s grief takes ahold of her. They lived in their own world for so long, but that world shattered, leaving emptiness, loneliness, and pain. Now, for the past two years Paige has been sleepwalking through life, inadvertently neglecting her job, her son, and herself. You might be thinking, “wow, this sounds depressing”, but surprisingly it really isn’t. It’s heartfelt and real, but not overly sad. Yes, what happens is sad, but the magic is that Lyhan can write about loss with so much emotion in every sentence, all without making it feel depressing.

    The characters in DIGGING IN are real, relatable, and have so much heart. I really love Paige! Her character is witty, clever, interesting, and fun. She made me laugh and smile without even realizing it. Basically, it was like talking to an old friend, which made it such an easy and enjoyable read.

    This story is about hope and starting over, specifically when life hands you a really awful card and all you can do is just keep breathing. I usually gravitate towards dark stories with sinister themes, so this certainly isn’t my typical read, but let me just tell you, this book surprised me and I loved it. Also, I have to mention that I tend to go into a book blind and avoid reviews, so when I read the acknowledgements, I was taken aback. First chills, then sadness but also admiration because Nyhan does an amazing job writing this book under such heartbreaking circumstances.

  • Larry H

    —Gilbert O'Sullivan, "Alone Again Naturally"

    4.5 stars for this one.

    I loved this! What a great story.

    Jesse was a part of Paige's life since eighth grade, and he was her only love. Often it was the two of them against the world, and she always knew she could count on her husband and their marriage.

    —Gilbert O'Sullivan, "Alone Again Naturally"

    4.5 stars for this one.

    I loved this! What a great story.

    Jesse was a part of Paige's life since eighth grade, and he was her only love. Often it was the two of them against the world, and she always knew she could count on her husband and their marriage. Then one day, an accidental tap of a highway median, and it was all over—he left her alone with their teenage son, Trey.

    "Forever. Till death do us part. The thing is, no one tells you what to do when the parting happens. And they forget to explain that when death is sudden, the parting is actually a ragged tear, not a clean separation. It leaves all the ends unfinished, and they just unravel and unravel and..."

    That was two years ago, yet she's still drifting through life. The house is in disrepair, the yard is a shambles—much to the chagrin of her uptight neighbor, whose anger seems excessive despite the number of dandelions and other weeds that have popped up. Trey, now a high school senior, is getting increasingly frustrated with his mother's antics, preferring the stability of a friend's house. And even though she used to be able to coast at her advertising job, a new boss has changed the dynamic at work, leaving Paige and her colleagues to compete for their jobs.

    "Death was final, but grief wasn't; it was a dirty street fighter who rose again and again even when I thought I had successfully knocked it to the ground. King of the sucker punches."

    One night, staring at the condition of her lawn, remembering Jesse's obsession with ensuring it was perfect and reeling from her neighbor's anger at her neglect, she starts to dig. Putting her hands in the dirt feels therapeutic, but she makes a mess. As the hole gets bigger, she decides she's going to turn the entire backyard into a vegetable and herb garden, which again runs her afoul of her neighbor and others in her perfectly ordered and manicured community. Yet for the first time, she doesn't really care.

    She's determined to make her garden work, but she's barely holding it together otherwise. Her son is hurting and angry, her boss is disappointed and wondering if he should cut her loose, and her homeowners' association is on her tail, but little by little she realizes she's the only one who can rescue her life. With the help of friends old and new, and the interest of a kind policeman, she starts to take root into her new reality, no matter how difficult it may be.

    Even though you've seen this story before, in Loretta Nyhan's hands, it's so engaging, enjoyable, and poignant. Paige is a tremendously sympathetic character, yet she has her flaws, and it's fascinating as she realizes that some of the things that brought her so much comfort throughout her marriage might have left her at a disadvantage now. But as much as she just wants to put her head in the sand and just mourn Jesse forever, she knows she must pull herself and her life together, for her sake as well as her son's.

    The way each person deals with grief in this situation is very different, but some of the emotions Paige experiences I've seen in my mother as she has navigated life since my father's death nearly four years ago. Incredibly, Nyhan was in the middle of writing this book when she lost her own husband, which certainly increases the poignancy of this book and Paige's story. There certainly are moments which might bring a tear to your eye, but this isn't a maudlin book in any way—it's warm and immensely readable, and I nearly read the entire book in a day.

    Lake Union Publishing made this available through Amazon's First Reads program. Thanks for making this available!

    See all of my reviews at

    , or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at

    .

  • Esil

    I’ve read some strong reviews for this one, but I must admit that I found it ok but didn’t love it.

    Payge is in her mid forties, has been a widow for 2 years, and she’ll still trying to find her footing. Her relationship with her 17 year old son is shaky and her job with a small advertising agency seems to be hanging by a thread. The story bumbles along somewhat predictably, as Payge sinks to new lows, and slowly makes her way uphill to a better place. Along the way, she digs up a crazy garden an

    I’ve read some strong reviews for this one, but I must admit that I found it ok but didn’t love it.

    Payge is in her mid forties, has been a widow for 2 years, and she’ll still trying to find her footing. Her relationship with her 17 year old son is shaky and her job with a small advertising agency seems to be hanging by a thread. The story bumbles along somewhat predictably, as Payge sinks to new lows, and slowly makes her way uphill to a better place. Along the way, she digs up a crazy garden and makes new friends.

    Despite the starting point, the tone of this novel is quite light. Humorous and sentimental — it has a definite romcom feeling. To me, the best part of Digging In was the afterword, in which the author describes losing her own husband at age 45, and how she and her two sons were helped and supported by family and friends. With that context, the book seems like the author’s own attempt to cope with her grief. I have a lot of sympathy and can understand the need for a immersive project, but I didn’t love the book.

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.

  • Loretta Nyhan

    I don't know how to rate my own book. Some days, I'm like...five stars, baby! You've got it going on! Other days? I could maybe--maybe--muster up one measly star. Writers are fickle. And very self-critical. Also, maybe a little nutso from working alone all the time.

    What I can say is that I'm very proud of this book. I give my pride in it five stars. Abso-freaking-lutely.

    The initial idea for this book came from an article I read about ten years ago. A local woman worked for the Chicago Tribune i

    I don't know how to rate my own book. Some days, I'm like...five stars, baby! You've got it going on! Other days? I could maybe--maybe--muster up one measly star. Writers are fickle. And very self-critical. Also, maybe a little nutso from working alone all the time.

    What I can say is that I'm very proud of this book. I give my pride in it five stars. Abso-freaking-lutely.

    The initial idea for this book came from an article I read about ten years ago. A local woman worked for the Chicago Tribune in the marketing department. She saw the writing on the wall, and knew she was going to get the heave-ho. She pre-empted that by turning in her resignation, going home and thinking...now what? She decided to dig up her backyard and plant vegetables, a one-woman CSA. People bought tickets all summer to come and pick what they wanted. She made enough money to buy herself some precious time. She was mid-life and wanted to figure out what she really wanted to do. I have no idea what happened to her, but the story lit a slow-burning fire in the house of my imagination, one that flared off and on over the years.

    After finishing my previous novel, ALL THE GOOD PARTS, I had some ideas for my next book bumping around in my brain, but this memory kept rising, elbowing the others to the side. I started writing Paige's story, tooling along quite nicely, until...

    My husband left to play a round of golf on a sunny Saturday morning in May of 2016. He never came home. Massive heart attack. Gone at age 45.

    We'd been married almost twenty years. Happy years. I loved him and he loved me, and we always had each other's backs. The devastation nearly did me in. I couldn't write a word. Heck, I could barely manage basic things, like cooking and driving and laundry. Grief messed with my brain, turning me into a zombie for four or five months. The energy I could muster went towards easing our boys into this new, very different life, one they never asked for and never, ever would have wanted.

    About five months after Tom died, I went to the bookstore, where I ran into a friend and fellow writer.

    "How's the writing going?" she asked.

    "Terrible," I said. "I can't write a thing. The words won't come."

    She hugged me. "It's because you only have one story in your head right now. So that's what you need to write."

    So that's what I did. I wrote about how to find yourself again after tragedy. I wrote about feelings of isolation and loneliness, about guilt and fear, and, ultimately, about discovering the strength to live again. These are some heavy things, but, believe me, this book is not a downer. Humor is the key to finding joy in life. And being able to feel that joy is essential in moving forward after loss.

    I hope you enjoy Paige's story. I hope you're entertained, and moved, and that it makes you think a little bit. Maybe, if you've experienced the devastation of losing someone close to you, it'll offer some comfort. Now, that's worth five stars to me.

    XOXO,

    Loretta

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