In 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 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.
“Endearingly quirky…Emotional yet funny…Confronting grief, change, and a new way of being, Nyhan’s lovely story captures the rejuvenating power of hard work that can start right in the backyard.” —Publishers Weekly
“Charming…Nyhan has fun with a bubbly satire of business culture.” —Kirkus Reviews
“On the surface, this is a sweet novel about aging, grief, and redemption. But Nyhan (All the Good Parts, 2016), who has experienced loss herself, shares very insightful observations. She reminds readers that comfort and hope can come in the most unexpected encounters if the heart is open.” —Booklist
“[Loretta Nyhan’s] novels are emotional for sure, but they still manage to deal with tough themes in an upbeat and hilarious way…By the end of the book, you’re left in a place of healthy, hopeful bliss, a place only Nyhan could take us to.” —The Suspense is Thrilling Me
“Nyhan has done it again! Her characters captivate and her gift for vivid prose shines in this roller coaster of a tale. My hope is that it leaps from the page to the big screen! Any reader with a heart won’t want it to end!” —Nicole Waggoner, author of Center Ring and The Act
“I want to scream my love for this book from the rooftops. What a delightful, funny, authentic, wise story about the healing power of gardening and the struggle to root yourself in the untilled land of grief. With a full cast of unique characters, Digging In is a must-read for anyone seeking pure entertainment.” —Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son
“I loved this one! Tender and sweet and hilarious. Packed full of wise moments, with a fresh take on what it is to experience grief. The characters seemed so lifelike I caught myself considering Googling one of them to see what she was up to in her life now! Hilarious take on split-generation offices—hipsters vs the shoulder pad brigade. Recommend this read to anyone.” —Virginia Franken, author of Life After Coffee
“Digging In is the loveliest novel. The title is perfect—a metaphor for digging deep. It is the story of a woman who has been brought to her knees by the loss of her husband, the love of her life. Now absolutely everything is on the line, her job, her relationship with her teenage son, and her will to live, hangs in the balance. The unique and surprising—even to her—ways she recovers had me turning the pages, and yet I wanted to linger. In her own inimitable warm, witty, and compassionate style, Loretta Nyhan has written a wise and poignant story of recovery from grief. I loved this book.” —Barbara Taylor Sissel, author of The Truth We Bury and Faultlines
Some Q & A with Loretta ~
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.
I took a few creative writing courses in college, but didn’t have much faith in my abilities. I graduated and took a job writing for trade magazines, which definitely bettered my overall writing skills. I wrote fiction in secret through my 20s and early 30s, terrified to show anyone my work. After my youngest started kindergarten, I gave myself a tough love talk—either really try to get something published or stop dreaming. I decided to try.
What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
FOOD—making it, eating it, paying too much for it in fancy restaurants.
Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?
I teach and tutor.
Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas don’t come to me neatly tied in a bow. Maybe I’ll read about something that piques my interest, then I’ll add something to the idea from my own experience, then my imagination takes over…the process is both complicated and uncomplicated.
Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
I’m obsessed with John Irving and Charles Dickens. I like big, sprawling stories with heartwarming characters that continually surprise you.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?
Nothing. Seriously. It wasn’t easy, but I kind of like the way this all played out. Now, I wouldn’t mind having the success of a Rowling or King, but…I’m not them. And I’m okay with that. I write stories about characters I love and so far I’ve found publishers who love them, too. I consider myself lucky.
How do you market your work?
Mostly on Facebook and Twitter. I’m bad at marketing. Most writers are. This is one of the reasons I’ve gone the traditional publishing route—I like people who know what they are doing to handle most of the marketing.
What are you working on now?
A super secret project! (Translation—it’s early in the process and I don’t even have a title.)
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep at it---you have to force yourself sometimes. Tell yourself you’ll write for an hour or two every day, even if what you’re producing makes you cringe. You can always edit later.
What are the downfalls of your writing career?
The isolation. It gets mighty lonely sometimes!
The best parts?
The people I’ve met—the readers, the other writers, the publishing professionals. Wonderful, wonderful people.
Favorite band or music? The Beatles. Always The Beatles.
Favorite book and/or movie?
My favorite books are The World According to Garp, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and a book by Susan Isaacs called Shining Through. My favorite movies are romantic comedies, particularly from the early 90s and starring Sandra Bullock.
Place you’d like to travel? Dublin, Montreal, Morocco.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?Thank you, thank you, thank you.
To connect with Loretta:
Facebook & twitter under ~LorettaNyhan