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The Orchardist: A Novel by Amanda Coplin
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The Orchardist: A Novel (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Amanda Coplin

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953909,110 (3.84)73
Member:brangwinn
Title:The Orchardist: A Novel
Authors:Amanda Coplin
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Washington State, Wenatchee

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The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
a story set in the pnw at the turn of the century. some wonderful writing, a very comfortable read. interesting characters ( )
  michaelbartley | Apr 13, 2015 |
This book delivered much more than I expected... Part of me fell in love with it because of my connection to the location. The relationships throughout were touching, sometimes laconic and frustrating, yet always rewarding. But it was, ultimately, the connection everyone shared through the land that kept me reading. The one character I was riveted with was the youngest character introduced- for me, she was the soul of the story.

This is a truly lovely read. ( )
  jMitty | Mar 25, 2015 |
What an astonishing book. I considered and passed by this novel several times before giving it a chance, and I'm glad I did.
This is a quiet tale...not in terms of plot but in how the author presents the different lives. There is a lot of upheaval for the individuals, and each has to work out their relationships with each other in their self-made family and with others. But the voice and how each of the events and relationships are presented is paced in a way that makes you feel the lives they are leading.
Really an exceptional experience. ( )
  Laine-Cunningham | Feb 22, 2015 |
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin is the story of a gentle man who lives in a violent time. I listened to the audio version of this novel, read by Mark Bramhall. A good narrator always brings his interpretation to the story and that was the case here. Bramhall's voice seemed perfectly matched with Coplin's novel, like an accomplished pianist performing Chopin. The down side of my listening rather than reading is that I couldn't dwell on the passages I enjoyed. The Orchardist has many cases I would have liked to read a few times before moving on.

I found it interesting that love in this novel has nothing to do with sex. Talmadge's relationships with Jane and Della are non-sexual, like father/daughter relationships; and his relationship with Caroline Middey is the same, although in her case they are two friends who help each other out. Sex is mentioned in the book, but only in negative ways. I can think of three in particular: when it is mentioned that Talmadge had visited a prostitute Caroline recommended, when Michaelson's sadistic behavior is described, and when a few loveless scenes involving Della are described. So although this book is about love, it is nontraditional in its approach.

Another type of love is important to Talmadge, the love of his land. He shows this love by taking care of the land and receiving its gifts with gratitude. He does the same with the people in his world. Although he is always there for the people he cares about, he speaks only when necessary. In fact, all the characters in The Orchardist keep their thoughts to themselves. One of them, Cree, never speaks to anyone, but is a loyal friend when he's needed.

The Orchardist creates a beautiful world through the author's careful writing (mentioned many times by other reviewers). The scenes are excellent, but what impressed me the most was the way Amanda Coplin described the thoughts of her characters. Here's an example from Caroline Middey's point of view:

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.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys character oriented fiction and American history.

Steve Lindahl - Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions ( )
1 vote SteveLindahl | Feb 12, 2015 |
It took me a while to "digest" this book. I loved it...so much so that it took me longer to read than most other books of the same length.
Writing style is wonderfully descriptive, the entire first page simply describes the main character physically, thus I was able to "see" him in my mind (as in, if a movie were to be made of this book, I would cast Geoffrey Rush, as that is who I saw in my mind).
I could smell the orchard, taste the apples and apricots, see the lush greenery of the orchard in spring, hear the bees buzzing. The descriptiveness draws you in, and keeps you there, hungering for more.
The words actually make you feel the characters fears, love, hunger, fatigue, etc. I could sense the anguish and despair, the hope and the expectations of the 4 main characters.
In the end, I elt that amazing feeling when one has finished a book so well written, that one cannot be anything but a bit sad that it's over.
The Orchardist is definitely going on my list of "read-it-again-because-I-just-have-to" books, and the books on that list for me are few and far between. ( )
  bb007rn | Jan 7, 2015 |
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To my family
And in memory of my grandfather
Dwayne Eugene Sanders
1936-1994
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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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