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The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
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The Orchardist (2012)

by Amanda Coplin

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1,6411206,577 (3.84)92
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Extremely slow story of a bachelor orchardist in turn-of-the-century Washington state whose life is changed when two young girls, running away from a child-brothel, take refuge on his land. The writing is nicely crafted, and the local-to-me location gives it a certain amount of interest, but … nothing really happens. ( )
1 vote LyndaInOregon | Dec 14, 2018 |
The Orchardist is a sort of "quiet" kind of book. The characters are well developed, the time period is very evident, and the need the characters have for family is front and center. The setting is an orchard and the surrounding areas of Washington State in the early part of the 20th century. The main characters though mostly unrelated form their own sort of family bonds through chance circumstances. It is a book that one needs to read, digest slowly, and then contemplate for awhile. ( )
1 vote Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
I finished The Orchardist today. I gave it to my Mother as a birthday gift in April after reading a promo, then we loaned it to a neighbor who loves excellent writing and then this holiday weekend it was my turn to be captivated by your writing. As a voracious reader and a retired librarian, I have read more titles than I can count. It is difficult to perceive this special book as a "first" novel. As my Mother so precisely described said, "It draws you in". Thank you for your story. Thank you for your writing that mesmerizes - it is lyrical, it is intelligent, it is thoughtful - and without doubt generates emotion through your rich character development and exquisite design of describing the atmosphere and setting in which the characters live and evolve. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing with us. I hope you never stop writing. ♥ ( )
1 vote Corduroy7 | Nov 16, 2017 |
There were nights when I stayed up too late to finish a section. Other nights, it was such a chore to continue reading, I fell asleep. The fact that there were no quotation marks was hard to get used to. I didn't know if the character was talking to themselves or to someone else. The author extensively used hyphens (dashes?) and after a while, it was annoying because it made me go back to re-read the sentence again.

Having noted the stylistic problems I had, it was an interesting story set in an unfamiliar location. I dug out my road atlas to see just where all of these places were located. It was a good geography lesson for a new resident of Washington State. The fact that Talmadge didn't really know how to interact with Della or Jane shouldn't have been a surprise. He had lived alone for so long and his memories of his mother (who looked for a solitary life) and his sister who disappeared, I don't think anyone in the family did much talking. What did surprise me was how he stepped up to the plate and cared for Angelene. His obsession about Della was over the top, but I suppose when someone is trying to rescue you from yourself, that's how it seems. I appreciated the no-nonsense style of Caroline Middey, but why was she always called by her full name? There was no one else in the story with a name remotely like hers. 🤔 ( )
  sraelling | Oct 27, 2017 |
I have not yet read this book.
  LynneQuan | Sep 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 119 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
The roses you gave me kept me awake with the sound of their petals falling.  ---JACK GILBERT
Dedication
To my family
And in memory of my grandfather
Dwayne Eugene Sanders
1936-1994
First words
His face was as pitted as the moon.
Quotations
And that was the point of children, thought Caroline Middey: to bind us to the earth and to the present, to distract us from death.  A distraction dressed as a blessing: but dressed so well, and so truly, that it became a blessing.  Or maybe it was the other way around: a blessing first, before a distraction.
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Book description
Amanda Coplin evokes a powerful sense of place, mixing tenderness and violence as she spins an engrossing tale of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and the dramatic consequences of his actions.
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When two feral girls--one of them very pregnant--appear on his homestead, solitary orchardist Talmadge, who carefully tends the grove of fruit trees he has cultivated for nearly half a century, vows to save and protect them.

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