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.
Yes, I will - just to experience a voice (Mark's) that matches the character so well!!!
I usually enjoy 'reading' a book rather than listening, but my job requires long driving hours, so I have been 'listening' to books. This is one I am so thankful I 'listened' to instead of read. The voice of the narrator, Mark Bramhall, added such depth to the characters. WELL done!!! Love this book!!!
The cover of this book really helps you visualize the setting for this book. I cannot say this is a gripping or compelling book; it is an otherwise common story delivered by a very talented writer who knows the art of pacing very well. When I completed the book, it left me with the same sense I felt with books like "East of Eden," and "Growth of Soil." In other words, it is a pastoral of a farming family and their struggles with the land and with life. I was pleased with the book and it has something like 80 chapters, so I am very happy someone had the sense not to say, "Chapter X" at the beginning of each chapter, as some of the chapters are only a few minutes and others are 15+ minutes. I am glad I read this book. It was very moving. However, I do not know that I'll read it again the way I would with East of Eden or some other books where the characters, I felt, meant more to me. Don't let that deter you. This is a great book by a very adept writer. I think that what impressed me the most is that it was written by a woman. For most of the book, I didn't know if it was a man or a woman, but I intuited that a man had written it. I respect that versatility, that she can write a book that appeals to men AND women. A weird thing to note though- the narrator makes Talmadge sound like Batman! Every time he had dialogue, I imagined batman in a rural, Washington farm!
I loved the narrator's voice and delivery, and he was perfect for this book. He reminded me of some old, wise, kind farmers I knew in Indiana, who didn't talk much, but lived generously and graciously, like the main character, Talmadge. The plight of the sisters who are featured in the book shows that some hurts may never go away, but God bless the people who try to give them comfort on their weary way.
I loved this story, the characters, the sadness the setting and the slow deliberateness of both their lives and the story.
People say very little to each other, living very much in their own heads and wondering what significant others are thinking. A belief that people will say what they mean to without many words but only when they are ready. O
I did enjoy this book. It is haunting and thought provoking and on the tragic side. But also very moving and especially enjoyable since I live in Washington State. It does make one think about the definition of "family", and of "loyalty", and also how we judge others whom we know nothing about. There were several times that I thought, "I think I would have preferred the abridged version", and I NEVER want the abridged version. It is on the slow side and there were times I was thinking, "just get on with it already...how long is this scene going to be drawn out?". And I'm sure it was the author's intent to draw it out. At one point, it felt like there was a bit of a build up and I was expecting some big secrets to be revealed at the end...but that didn't happen. An interesting story, but not for everyone - especially if you want fast pace, action, or to be uplifted
I enjoyed how the narrator's voice was warm and "earthy", like the elements of the story. Excellent performance.
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