Customer Reviews for

The Blue Orchard

Average Rating 4.5
( 35 )
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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    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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  • 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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