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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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1701066,910 (3.83)79
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

Work details

The Orchardist: A Novel by Amanda Coplin (2012)

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» See also 79 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A craggy solitary orchardist's life intersects with two pregnant teens fleeing from a truly unspeakable situation. The book follows life, birth, death, companionship, love, nurturing. All of which is mirrored in the orchards, where fruit trees must be tenderly cared for in order that they bear their fruit, as the characters bear theirs.

The fruit trees are a powerful metaphor whose fruit is not always plump and juicy; sometimes it is rotten.

A compelling book you will not soon forget ( )
  ElizabethLynnPrice | May 27, 2016 |
What to say?

Having lived through domestic and sexual violence myself, and coming as far as I have to make life my own, to have raised a daughter and a son mostly alone because I didn't have my own people or the help of significant others, I know that things could have turned out far differently.

Fear of the monsters in my past, feeling no way out and the cruelty of homelessness...I know the temptation of suicide, the brokenness of despair of the future, and the losses.

This book...

Illustrates truths we fear to imagine, it shows the feral, the desperate, the futility of being...and in shows how hope rides like a parasite on doing ONE thing right in one's life and FOR all the marbles, and ultimately how we do not only belong to ourselves...we are interconnected. ( )
  LTunnicliffe | May 18, 2016 |
Set in the early 1900s, Talmadge has lived a simple, solitary existence for decades as an orchardist in a rural stretch of NW America until two pregnant children start appearing at his homestead looking for food. What ensues is a highly emotive story of broken lives and a paternal love that forever seeks to protect.

This book is fabulously drawn out, with plenty of surprise twists and turns, good pace and razor sharp settings. The backdrop of the peaceful orchard in the upper valley worked superbly - as a reader you felt like you were coming home every time the book switched back to it. Most of all, the characters are incredibly vivid, and Talmadge in particular is just wonderful - I wanted to reach into the pages of the book and hug him tightly for his selflessness, his steadfastness and his unconditional love. ( )
  AlisonY | May 7, 2016 |
This was a beautifully written, unique, intense, at times raw, spare, and in some parts very sad novel with well developed characters. I was engrossed from the start and found it a fast read with unusual plot and relationships. It was placed in the northwest U.S.. Highly recommended, though not for everyone. The subject matter did include some very difficult topics that I won't name to avoid spoilers. ( )
  jennybooks | Mar 19, 2016 |
Did not read this - Lambertvlille book club cancelled it!
  ValNewHope | Mar 5, 2016 |
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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