Book Book Review, Title The Orchardist, Author Amanda Coplin, Rating 3.5, The heart of the Orchard
This is a well-structured novel of grief and solitude and of the damage of indifferent manipulation and violence, balanced against the friendship and care that can heal. The author depicts the inner life of people who are mostly isolated, via the point of view of an orchardist, as lonely, sometimes peaceful, and sometimes self-delusional or unaware.
Tenuous connections between people are woven in a fabric of intimate natural sounds and sights and smells, as if the orchard and its surroundings have character of their own.
Orchard with flowering plums, Van Gogh, 1888. Attrib: Van Gogh Museum, PD-US. Click to view enlarged picture
The cover of this book, a Pacific Northwest bestseller, immediately drew me in; without knowing the subject, it looked just like a scene from the Wenatchee river valley I had witnessed several times when I did some contract work in the city of Wenatchee. As it turns out, the novel is set precisely in those orchard-filled valleys.
A gift from my parents and my sister Ruth, Christmas 2013.