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The Orchardist | [Amanda Coplin]

The Orchardist

At the turn of the 20th 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.
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Publisher's Summary

At the turn of the 20th 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.

Transcribing America as it once was before railways and roads connected its corners, Amanda Coplin weaves a tapestry of solitary souls who come together in the wake of unspeakable cruelty and misfortune. She writes with breathtaking precision and empathy, and in The Orchardist she crafts an astonishing debut novel about a man who disrupts the lonely harmony of an ordered life when he opens his heart and lets the world in.

©2012 Amanda Coplin (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (501 )
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4.1 (423 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Susanne Elkins Park, PA, United States 06-30-13
    Susanne Elkins Park, PA, United States 06-30-13 Member Since 2010

    Nurse. Yarn snob. Bookworm. Cat lover. Color enthusiast. Fabric collector. Gardener

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Unsentimenal Look at the Power of Relationships"
    What made the experience of listening to The Orchardist the most enjoyable?

    The lyrical way in which the author writes about the American West on the brink of modernity, on the brink of losing its agricultural way of life as the 20th century barrels toward the orchard.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Orchardist?

    The way Talmadge, a very solitary man, unfolds the hard layers of his personality and opens his long dormant heart to the possibility of forging new relationships with Della and Jane.


    What does Mark Bramhall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I think it would have to be his slow, deliberate voice. He was always steady, never getting carried away with the emotion of the language which really painted a very specific picture of the main character for me.


    Any additional comments?

    I fell in love with this book. The author's prose, her descriptions of the landscape and its people were so beautiful that I could fully imagine the orchard in my mind's eye. I liked the slow development of the plot as this really allows you to come to know the characters, to wonder about their motives, to form relationships with each of them. This book is meant to be savored rather than devoured as you contemplate Talmadge's quest to create "family" despite the trouble it invites into his life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Len Berwick, PA, United States 03-15-13
    Len Berwick, PA, United States 03-15-13
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    "Sad when it ended !!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would highly recommend this audiobook to anyone. The rich narrative, character development make you ache for these people.


    What about Mark Bramhall’s performance did you like?

    His tone reflects the hesitance and awkwardness of the main male character, I could feel the loneliness and longing in Talmedge. Shows the greatest love possible in the human heart that goes beyond sexual feelings.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Probably where he goes to visit Della in jail and she again rejects his help.


    Any additional comments?

    Just shows the human heart's unrelenting search to protect and love even when it is rejected and pushed away. Made me understand that a person's life might not be about their own fulfillment but a gift gladly given to those they leave behind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Shears Gold River, CA USA 12-09-12
    Laura Shears Gold River, CA USA 12-09-12 Member Since 2008
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    "A beautiful, sad book"
    If you could sum up The Orchardist in three words, what would they be?

    Tragedy that you know must happen, descriptions of feelings and surroundings desperately beautiful. Poetry.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Caroline Middey...she cares so much, gives him such good advice, but sees the tragedy coming, inescapable, just as the reader (listener) does.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Alpharetta, GA, United States 11-05-12
    Paula Alpharetta, GA, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great story, wonderfully drawn characters."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's got good pace, you enjoy and empathize with the characters.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Orchardist?

    there were several and I would hate to give away the story by explaining them.


    What does Mark Bramhall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His pace of reading is perfect for the story, he gets totally involved. I loved his voices, he had given the characters lots of thought.


    If you could rename The Orchardist, what would you call it?

    The name is perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a wondeful story and I couldn't wait to keep picking it up.. it makes my walks amazing no matter the weather.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane LOXAHATCHEE, FLORIDA, United States 09-15-12
    Diane LOXAHATCHEE, FLORIDA, United States 09-15-12 Member Since 2011

    Diane

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    "Grammar?"

    Wow, this was like reading a rough draft or something. Review written by Erica nailed it perfectly. Use a pronoun or use a name. Both? Repeatedly? Absolutely horrible. If the story was really great perhaps one could overlook this. It is not. Seriously, didn't anyone proofread this before printing? Ugh!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jen ravenna, OH, United States 09-02-12
    Jen ravenna, OH, United States 09-02-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "It's Certainly Epic!!"
    What did you love best about The Orchardist?

    It's a peaceful historical story involving a family of mostly people that stay are joined out of like for each other rather than blood.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Orchardist?

    The story spans more than seventy years and four generations....there are many.


    Which character – as performed by Mark Bramhall – was your favorite?

    Poor Mark didn't get to "act out" many characters for none of them were "talkers" He did do a fine job telling the sory.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    14 hours worth....not possible. It was reallly long. Pleasant...yes.

    I am not overly happy with the ending. I don't necessairly need a happy story but, somewhere in an epic that spans generations something positive is necessary to recount.
    After a lifetime of strife, hardship and toil of the protaganist, the author went on to relay the demise of his lifelong work - years after his death..... I am not understanding the necessity of that.


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Moscow, ID, United States 06-21-14
    Lauren Moscow, ID, United States 06-21-14 Member Since 2007
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    "A poignant beautifully-written book"
    What did you love best about The Orchardist?

    This book captures the essence of rural life in eastern Washington during the homesteading period...the independence of the people, their struggles, their silent endurance of tragedy. Their story reminded me of a Greek tragedy...in that their character flaws, which were also their strengths in some way, led inevitably to pain and sadness.


    Any additional comments?

    The characters in this book are full of emotions that they can't identify and for which they have no words. Their stoicism makes it impossible to talk with each other. And yet, they learn to read each others' signals, slight changes in bearing, or the eyes, a change in breathing. They "speak" volumes. Ultimately, they do understand each other, but they endure so much pain before they reach that point. Their story was captivating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhunette Philadelphia, PA, United States 05-03-14
    Rhunette Philadelphia, PA, United States 05-03-14 Member Since 2002
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    "Unrealistic"

    I found the story to be very unrealistic. It was as though the main characters lived
    in a world by themselves. There was not enough interaction with the world around
    them. I also found that certain scenes were repetitious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Burdge Kansas City 01-22-14
    P. Burdge Kansas City 01-22-14 Member Since 2011

    wordrioter

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    "Difficult Book"

    This is one of the most confusing books I have ever tried to listen to. The narration was excellent. I could not force myself to finish this - I returned it. The characters seemed shallow and their actions inexplicable. I didn't care about any of them, which made me not want to finish the book. The book had an ethereal quality when the story centered in the orchard. As I was listening I kept asking myself WHO are these characters? WHY are they behaving like this? I found the actions of Della, one of the two sisters who shows up on Talmadge's orchard, to make no sense whatsoever. At least from my experience, young women who have been sexually abused by older men do not trust men, and certainly would not choose to spend time almost exclusively with men. Odd, odd, odd. There were 12 people at book club tonight. Not a single person liked this book. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ada Kardos Portland, OR United States 08-15-13
    Ada Kardos Portland, OR United States 08-15-13 Member Since 2013

    ada

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    "Holy smokes, I loved this book."

    What an incredible story and a wonderful telling. I showed up every day at work crying from listening on the way in. A great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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