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The Orchardist: A Novel by Amanda Coplin

The Orchardist: A Novel (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Amanda Coplin

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8718610,199 (3.83)68
Title:The Orchardist: A Novel
Authors:Amanda Coplin
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Washington State, Wenatchee

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The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin (2012)



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To me, the story-- which begins in a Washington-state orchard in the late 1800s-- was just dreary and depressing. This novel has been praised as poetic and beautifully written. But I just couldn't get into it. ( )
  DonnaCallea | Nov 29, 2014 |
What a beautifully written book - I loved the slow steadiness of the writing - the descriptors were beautiful and not overdone ----- this was in ways a love story within a most unusual family - a very solitary man who lost his family early in life tended to his orchards with devotion - 2 young pregnant sisters arrived on his land having suffered serious sexual abuse and he slowly and gently worked to gain their trust - a lot happened and powerful emotions were expressed, yet everything that occurred was intentionally crafted and the effect was mesmerizing - these characters inhabited me -

The storyline was slow and deliberate which was beautiful to read, but also occasionally failed to fully capture me - also, some of Della's experiences at the jail seemed unrealistic - otherwise I would have rated this 5 stars -

I was amazed that this was written by a first time author but was not surprised that it took 8 years to complete - i really look forward to Ms. Coplin's next work - ( )
  njinthesun | Nov 10, 2014 |
This was a beautiful story well told. It reminded me of Cold Mountain. The quiet simplicity of the setting and characters was mesmerizing. This is a book that would not be diminished by rereading. ( )
  elizabeth.b.bevins | Nov 4, 2014 |
My mother and I rarely like the same books, but this is an exception and falls a bit outside of my normal reading genres. It’s solid literary fiction, but far enough in the past to be historical fiction as well. What drew me to read it were the characters, an orchardist and some orphans, the distinct location, Wenatchee Washington (a place I’ve been and recall a traffic jam at the town’s one stoplight, well it seemed like one stoplight) and the praise it has gotten. Well-deserved praise. It’s written with verve and creativity and while a lot of what is described is pretty quotidian, it remained taut and interesting throughout.

The real stand-out are Coplin’s characterizations. Starting with William Talmage, the Orchardist of the title and his relationship with local midwife Caroline Middey and then introducing the two orphan girls who show up in town. Don’t get too comfortable with how you imagine the story will go; it won’t. I promise. While nothing terribly dramatic happens, things take turns that I didn’t expect and didn’t understand. Particularly with Della. I didn’t have much patience with her or her sister, Jane, but they said and did things that kept me guessing and intrigued. I think a situation like this could only be plausible in the past. Now, the state and local authorities would take over and Caroline and Talmage would never have had the opportunity to care for the girls or enrich their lives with the person that Angelene became. How they bond gives a tremendous sense of community that I rarely encounter in the novels I read and I hope Coplin writes more. ( )
  Bookmarque | Oct 23, 2014 |
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin was a book that captured me totally during the first half of the book. After that I struggled with the slowness of the story and the lack of direction. Like an orchard, the story grew slowly but unfortunately, I never felt rewarded with a juicy ending. The story just seem to drift to a close.

It is a beautifully written story of early 20th century eastern Washington state. William Talmadge and his sister tend an orchard after the death of their mother. One day his sister goes into the forest to gather herbs and never returns. All they ever find of her is her apron and her bonnet. Talmadge is devastated by her disappearance and spends the rest of his life haunted by this event. When, as an older man, two young, pregnant girls running away from a life of abuse, arrive in the orchard, he is more than ready to invite them into his life wanting only to protect and care for them.

The beginning of this book was a complete page turner, being both reflective and spellbinding. Her description of sunlit days amongst the apricots and apples evoked my senses and totally captured my imagination. This book that started as such an emotional and touching story unfortunately wasn‘t able to hold onto the beautiful rhythm. The second half of the book was both underwhelming and seemed to drag on indefinitely. I wish the author had shortened the book by about 150 pages which would have made for a tighter, more stunning story.

This was a debut novel and I am glad that I read The Orchardist. Amanada Coplin writes with style and flair. Her ability to combine both lyrical and sparse prose shows a talent that leaves me wanting to see what she does next. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Oct 7, 2014 |
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To my family
And in memory of my grandfather
Dwayne Eugene Sanders
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His face was as pitted as the moon.
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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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Average: (3.83)
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2 13
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