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Things That Grow by Meredith Goldstein

Things That Grow delivers on all levels. A story that will have you laughing and crying from one page to the next. Readers, you need this story in your life.”

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

The Story

Lori’s grandmother dies unexpectedly and this event changes everything. Her grandmother was her guardian, and with her death, her mother wants to uproot Lori right before her last year in high school.

But, before anyone can make any final decisions, Lori devices a plan to honor her grandmother’s last wishes and stay in her home town as long as she possibly can.

My Review: Things That Grow

Brilliantly written, Goldstein writes a story about loss, love and family in a way that will both charm and delight.

The humor weaved throughout is perfection. There were many belly laugh, tears welling, moments that made the narrative so much more indelible.

Goldstein’s story felt personal. As though she included pieces of herself, her own experiences, like anchor threads to a tapestry beautifully imagined and exquisitely crafted.

Further, Goldstein offers more than one perspective on how we as human beings deal with death. This was a more unconventional approach to death and dear readers, it was refreshing. It was a wonder and joy to see how Goldstein blended humor, like an artist combining colors to create a felicitous hue for their masterpiece, in order to cope with loss and process grief.

A Few More Thoughts

Throughout the entire novel it is acknowledged that this loss is a difficult one. Lori’s grandmother made an impact on the lives and people she interacted with, including her neighbors and friends. But it’s the idea cemented in Things That Grow, where we can laugh and cry, to be able to feel multiple emotions when mourning the loss of a loved one, is what stayed with me.

Simply put this novel is W O N D E R F U L!

“When I think of remains now,” I tell my mom, “like what it means to look at someone’s remains after they die I can’t thin of someone’s body. It doesn’t really remain, no matter how you try to preserve it. Like, the stuff that remains is people. We’re Grandma’s remains.”

Meredith Goldstein, Things That Grow


This is the quote that stuck with me. I wrapped these words around my mind like a well loved coat. Taking in its warmth and texture and the feelings it brought after reading. And this quote really encompassed the major theme of the book. Where we discover this surreal beauty in the adventure this family undertakes, the garden tour where Lori’s grandmother wishes to be set to rest and this is what we find in the end.

There is so much joy to be had where these illuminating characters fall apart and come back together, finding themselves and each other in the end.

Last Thoughts

Rich with humor, and a well devised narrative with swoon worthy moments, wrapped up in true, real moments we can all empathize and relate to, Goldstein’s writing is a wonder to behold.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I hope we can all laugh over Craisins, enjoy the beauty of nature, and fall in love with our best friend.

Happy Reading  ̴ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

Author: Meredith Goldstein

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March, 2021

Pages: 336

ISBN-10:  1328770109

ISBN-13:  9781328770103

Audience: 12+ and up

Jacket Design: Unknown at this time

Jacket Art: Unknown at this time

You can find Things That Grow at HMH Books.

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