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The Orchardist: A Novel (2012)

by Amanda Coplin

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1,7051327,794 (3.82)98
At the turn of the 20th century in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a gentle solitary orchardist, Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots. Then two feral, pregnant girls and armed gunmen set Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect but to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.… (more)
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» See also 98 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
Have to start by saying I did not finish this book. It was very slow. I lost interest pretty early on. I didn't really feel like I got to know any of the characters. They kept to themselves so much. Did not feel any connection with them. Th story did not seem to go anywhere. Finally decided to stop reading. There are too many other books on my list! I may come back to this one at some point; will have to wait and see. ( )
  debfung | Jul 12, 2021 |
historical fiction (Washington state, late 19th century). Page turner! I read the first 150 pages in one sitting, then finished the rest of the book the next day. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
A diversion from my eco-lit reading, this book centers on our human perceptions and feelings. Even so, only the naïve reader would fail to recognize in it how connected to and dependent on the natural world we are.

Yes, this is a book about mortality, but only in part. It is as much a book about our joys and frustrations, our caring and depravity, our longing and despair, as we journey through our respective life cycles. It is a down-to-earth, engrossing story that keeps the reader turning pages just as life does. With a basic plot and ample craft, the author has depicted the ageless story of life as we essentially experience it. Reading this book left my old bones weary but content.

My only reservation is that like the orchard in the story, the writing could have benefited from a bit of judicious trimming here and there. Though many writers are prone to dressing up their babies, excess descriptive text can bog down a story and distract the reader.

“I am just a leaf. Just a leaf falling from the tree so that a new bud may grow.”
~ Gemma Malley, The Legacy ( )
  LGCullens | Jun 1, 2021 |
A great book, but I was slightly disappointed in the end. What happens to Angelene? The author writes of her return visits to the Orchard, but I want more. Where is she visiting from? ( )
  mbellucci | Apr 10, 2021 |
I started this book as my plane took off from Chicago (just barely escaping the subzero deep-freeze) and I was four pages from finishing when we landed in Honolulu.

I am not a power reader (easily distracted) but this novel grabbed me right from the beginning. It was so good, that I didn’t even take full advantage of the complimentary wine (only three glasses of Chardonnay).

Talmadge is a great character as are the three women who are part of his “family.”

I felt transported to this turn of the century life in the Pacific northwest. The Orchardist is a great book.
( )
  LenJoy | Mar 14, 2021 |
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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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At the turn of the 20th century in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a gentle solitary orchardist, Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots. Then two feral, pregnant girls and armed gunmen set Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect but to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.

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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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