The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
Published by Harper Books, an imprint of HarperCollins
From the publisher:
At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he’s found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit from the market; they later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadge’s land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion. Just as the girls begin to trust him, men arrive in the orchard with guns, and the shattering tragedy that follows will set Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect but also to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.
The Orchardist initially gets off to a bit of a slow start; other than the conflict near the beginning of the book between the girls and the man who hunts them there is not much plot. As you continue reading, however, Coplin’s beautiful writing and wonderful characterizations draw you slowly but surely into the lives of her characters. Coplin does not set her dialogue apart with quotation marks, but for once it did not impede my enjoyment of the book. Told in the third person, the whole thing seems like the remembrances of descendant; reading it is akin to studying a sepia-toned photograph of a place or event significant to your grandparents.
This beautiful book is not flashy, but it captured my attention and my heart. Highly recommended.
For more, please see my review for the SheKnows Book Lounge.
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