Customer Reviews for

The Blue Orchard

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    Worth Reading

    I found myself fascinated by the main chatacters ability to rise above her circumstance. Oftentimes, we forget that the people and things we ALREADY have are blessings

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    Fascinating Story!

    I found this book fascinating on two (personal) levels.
    1) My mother was an RN during the time outlined in the book. Her stories were entirely different from the ones told in the story, and yet there were a lot of common elements. It was educational reading. The realities of abortion before it was legal are harsh, but women, especially, need to know these.
    2) I live in the area represented in the book, and found the local history to be lively and interesting. I can understand that those who have read it and who live in another area might find the politics a bit boring...however, these local" politics strongly reflect the state of the Nation in that era.

    This is not always an easy read, as there are some harsh realities here, but I feel it is well worth the time and attention of the reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Boring.....Bueller? Anyone?

    I bought this book based on customer reviews and was highly disappointed. By page 87 I felt as though I had slogged through 300 pages and was no closer to discovering a plot as when I first laid eyes on the cover. There's no real story line -- it is simply a slow moving, semi-biographical story that should have taken half as many words to tell.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2013

    Excellent!

    Excellent!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Excellent

    A truly amazing story!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    I found this novel (based on the true-life story of the author's

    I found this novel (based on the true-life story of the author's grandmother) to be nearly impossible to put down. It addresses a few very difficult subjects--abortion, the second class treatment of women, and the third class treatment of African Americans in history. The story takes place in the early 1900's up through the mid 1960s and while a lot of years have passed and progress has been made, we still struggle with these issues to this day. Many of us are torn between the moral implications of abortion and the societal way in which we treat those women who have children out of wedlock. Despite her flaws, I found I could relate to Verna Krone, largely because she seemed to be constantly wrestling with the choices she made. And because of her early life experiences, I could understand why she didn't see things in absolutes. This is a moving story, well worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Couldn't put it down!

    I was amazed to find out that this is based on the author's grandmother.It's a wonderfully told account of the darker side of our history. Yet it makes one think twice about the moral implications in this era of illicit abortions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    Great Book

    It moved a little slow at times however reading this I found myself back in my grandfathers living room listening to his stories as I so often did and miss now. I felt great comfort reading this book. Very interesting, and gave me a greater understanding of just how hard times were back in the late 1800s to mid 1950s great piece of history that I hadnt really read before for that time era.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    Not bad, but...

    The majority of this story was engaging and interesting, though I did find some of the love scenes contrived. My one fault was the almost "happily ever after" ending.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting

    I'm a little mixed on my review of this book. I found the first 2/3rds of the book to be engaging and extremely interesting. I especially appreciated the detail of abortion procedures pre Roe v. Wade. Many live in denial and pretend that abortion did not occur prior to its legalization. The opposite could not be more true and the deplorable methods that were used are just shocking. Where the book lost me was about the last 1/3 of the book where it went total into the politics of the day and just went on too long for me. I thought the characterization of Verna was top notch given what this woman went through at such a young age. It is more than I can even imagine. I believe this novel has a lot of historical accuracy.

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    good read

    I found this to be a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2011

    Good story, bad fiction writing

    In the Author's Notes at the back of the book, Mr. Taylor reflects on his decision to write this story as a piece of literature instead of nonfiction, despite advise from his peers. He should have heeded the advise of his friends. The story, based on a true story, is a good one, touching upon invasions of personal liberties, women's rights, and civil rights. Mr. Taylor clearly researched the subject well. However, the extent of this presented research just does not weave itself correctly into this work of historical fiction. I found that the book unintentionally divided itself into two different stories, an identity crisis of sorts; the first half being a decently-written piece of literature that captured the hardships and burdens of the main character. However, at some point, the story turned into a Who's Who of local politicians, pushing the plight of the main character further and further from the reader's mind to the point that she became a stranger. Multiple characters and situations vied for the central character and plot as Mr. Taylor inundates the reader with his research, and in the end, I could not really care less what happened to these once-well-developed characters. I believe that Mr. Taylor is probably a good author, but needs some serious work developing his fictional voice. Talented fictional writers are able to merely describe a behavior, and the readers should be able to infer the thoughts, feelings, and intents of the character. Mr. Taylor, on the other hand, overwrites. For instance, a chapter ends on a poignant note with a character laughing; that powerful ending would have left my mind dizzy for more, but instead, Mr. Taylor continues to write an entire paragraph more, listing (in question form!) all the reasons why this character could possibly be crying. This overwriting, this dumbing down to the reader, left me dumbfounded that an editor would not critique and change this. This is an okay read, and one that may prompt you to scan quickly over whole sections of the book; I'm quite surprised that it received such high reviews from other readers.

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  • Posted November 30, 2010

    Highly recommended

    Very good book filled with alot of the history of Harrisburg. Well written.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I had a hard time putting it down!

    I really enjoyed this book. It was so hard to put it down to go to work each day... and I took it with me and read on my breaks and during my lunch. And then I thought about it throughout the day! This book deals with a woman who takes an oath to use her nuring skills only in an ethical way, and then breaks that oath by performing "illegal operations." Her whole life is transformed, as well as the lives of those around her, becuase of her choice. It gives insite into the minds of the people who were performing the abortions and it shares information about the politcal system of the time - probably not much different than the system of today. Rather frightening. I've started reading another book, but the memories of The Blue Orchard still linger in my head. To make it even better, there is a surprising twist at the very end of the book - which gives even more food for thought. I am recommending this book to my book club - I just happened upon it one day while shopping at B&N. Well worth the read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    You've come a long way baby

    Let's talk about women and just how far they've come since the 1950's. This is an incredible story about the strength of one woman that comes from nothing and finds it within herself to earn an amazing income. Think that's enough to make her happy? Absolutely not because the man in her life is jealous of her earnings. Then there is the story of the illegal way she earns this income. The story is a roller coaster of rights and wrongs. Do you give women a safe place for an abortion or allow them to die with some back alley surgeon? Another cleverly interwoven story is of politics. And when you read this story set in the 1950's you realize politics don't change just the players do! Controversial story. If you are giving this book as a gift KNOW your recipient. It takes an open minded reader for this one and if you have an open mind prepare to be thoroughly entertained.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Strongly recommended!

    I especially appreciate Taylor's ability to use his journalistic training to make sense of sometimes convoluted details ranging from political machinations to emotional suasion without losing track of the human fallibility and needs underlying it all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
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