The orchardist : a novel

by Coplin, Amanda.

Format: Print Book ©2012.
Availability: Available at 22 Libraries 22 of 23 copies
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Summary

At once intimate and epic, The Orchardist is historical fiction at its best, in the grand literary tradition of William Faulkner, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Ondaatje, Annie Proulx, and Toni Morrison.

In her stunningly original and haunting debut novel, 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.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Coplin's mesmerizing debut stands out with its depictions of uniquely Western personalities and a stark, gorgeously realized landscape that will settle deeply into readers' bones. In the early twentieth century, Talmadge lives alone amid his huge spread of fruit trees in Washington's Wenatchee Valley. He remains haunted by his teenage sister's disappearance some 50 years earlier, so when two raggedy, smudge-faced girls appear on his land, untrusting, hungry, and pregnant, he feels immediately protective of their safety. Jane and Della have just escaped a terrible situation, and Talmadge aims to do right by them, but tragedy results when their former captor and his thugs come calling. He and a kindly neighbor guide Jane's daughter, Angelene, into young adulthood, and the tender affection this improvised family shares isn't diminished by their reluctance to speak their minds. The prose abounds with poetic imagery, and the quotation-mark-free dialogue, which could seem like an affectation in a different type of story, emphasizes the melding of these solitary characters with the vast, wild place they choose to call home.--Johnson, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "The implacable hand of fate, and the efforts of a quiet, reclusive man to reclaim two young sisters from their harrowing past, are the major forces at play in this immensely affecting first novel. In a verdant valley in the Pacific Northwest during the early years of the 20th century, middle-aged Talmadge tends his orchards of plum, apricot, and apples, content with his solitary life and the seasonal changes of the landscape he loves. Two barely pubescent sisters, Jane and Della, both pregnant by an opium-addicted, violent brothel owner from whom they have escaped, touch Talmadge's otherwise stoic heart, and he shelters and protects them until the arrival of the girls' pursuers precipitates tragic consequences. Talmadge is left with one of the sisters, the baby daughter of the other, and an ardent wish to bring harmony to the lives entrusted to his care. Coplin relates the story with appropriate restraint, given Talmadge's reserved personality, and yet manages to evoke a world where the effects of two dramatic losses play out within a strikingly beautiful natural landscape. In contrast to the brothel owner, Michaelson, the other characters in Talmadge's community-an insightful, pragmatic midwife; a sensitive Nez Perce horse trader; a kindly judge-conduct their lives with dignity and wisdom. When Della fails to transcend the psychological trauma she's endured, and becomes determined to wreak revenge on Michaelson, Talmadge turns unlikely hero, ready to sacrifice his freedom to save her. But no miracles occur, as Coplin refuses to sentimentalize. Instead, she demonstrates that courage and compassion can transform unremarkable lives and redeem damaged souls. In the end, "three graves [lie] side by side," yet this eloquent, moving novel concludes on a note of affirmation. Agent: Bill Clegg, WME Entertainment. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Fruit growers -- Fiction.
Orchards -- Northwest, Pacific -- Fiction.
Pregnant teenagers -- Fiction.
Families -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Harper,©2012.
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 426 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780062188519 (pbk.)
9780062188502
006218850X
Other Classic View