Customer Reviews for

The Orchardist

Average Rating 4
( 174 )
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(68)

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(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

29 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

Beau­ti­fully Writ­ten and Haunt­ing

The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin is a novel tak­ing place in Wash­ing­ton State at the early part of the 20thCen­tury. This is Chopin's first book and is a majes­tic debut, a new book which reads like an old friend.

William Tal­madge had had a hard life, orphaned at a...
The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin is a novel tak­ing place in Wash­ing­ton State at the early part of the 20thCen­tury. This is Chopin's first book and is a majes­tic debut, a new book which reads like an old friend.

William Tal­madge had had a hard life, orphaned at an early age and los­ing his sis­ter mys­te­ri­ously, he made his liv­ing from a suc­cess­ful orchard which draw in all his tal­ents and energy. Tal­madge takes in two run­away teenager, sis­ters who were both abused and pregnant.

Life is rough inWash­ing­ton­State­and Tal­madge is repaid for his gen­eros­ity with a series of events marked with tragedy and vio­lence, as well as a few glim­mers of joy.

The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin is a beau­ti­fully writ­ten and haunt­ing novel, a mood not usu­ally cap­tured by first time authors. The prose is lyri­cal and the char­ac­ters enchant­ing, even though they might not be like­able they grow on the reader and make one invest in their future.

The rea­son I requested to be on the tour for this book is actu­ally quite nos­tal­gic. Many years ago, what seems like 100 years ago (and unfor­tu­nately, what seems like 100 lbs. as well) I walked along the Inca Trail in Bolivia(slightly less famous than its Peru­vian coun­ter­part which I walked sev­eral weeks later). After a few days we came upon an orchard in the Andes Moun­tains, ran by a Japan­ese orchardist (still inBo­livia) who let us stay the night and eat as much fruit as we can.

I also worked in an orchard for a few years, back in Israel- a dif­fi­cult yet reward­ing job which I often view with rose col­ored glasses.
So you see, my fas­ci­na­tion with orchards has been life­long, the smell of an orange orchard brings a back many sweet mem­o­ries, I sim­ply could not pass up this book.

The depic­tion of the land and the fron­tier land­scape are writ­ten with clar­ity and sen­si­bil­ity as well as incor­po­rat­ing the char­ac­ters within it. The style worked very well for this novel because the peo­ple were part of the land, cul­ti­vated by it and not the other way around.

"But the next day he stood in the mid­sec­tion of an apple tree and saw them come mean­der­ing down the orchard rows. He con­tin­ued with the shears in the high branches and watched them indi­rectly. They stopped down the row from him and sat in the grass."

The theme of the book, peo­ple don't get over their losses, is estab­lished early on, about a quar­ter through the book. How­ever the Amer­i­can sense of opti­mism which every­thing will work out and good things will hap­pen is always present regard­less of the chal­lenges Chopin throws at her characters.

The prose is beau­ti­fully writ­ten, but at time overly stretched. That being said, the author's tal­ent shines through­out the book, I cer­tainly hopes she keeps on writ­ing and am look­ing for­ward to read many more books of qual­ity from her pen.

posted by Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com on August 28, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

13 out of 71 people found this review helpful.

again, 12.99? i know people hate these complaints in the reviews

again, 12.99? i know people hate these complaints in the reviews but maybe the authors will speak up at some point--i'll wait for the wholesale warehouse version at 7.99 thanks

posted by CathyFitzgerald on August 21, 2012

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  • Posted August 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Beau­ti­fully Writ­ten and Haunt­ing

    The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin is a novel tak­ing place in Wash­ing­ton State at the early part of the 20thCen­tury. This is Chopin's first book and is a majes­tic debut, a new book which reads like an old friend.

    William Tal­madge had had a hard life, orphaned at an early age and los­ing his sis­ter mys­te­ri­ously, he made his liv­ing from a suc­cess­ful orchard which draw in all his tal­ents and energy. Tal­madge takes in two run­away teenager, sis­ters who were both abused and pregnant.

    Life is rough inWash­ing­ton­State­and Tal­madge is repaid for his gen­eros­ity with a series of events marked with tragedy and vio­lence, as well as a few glim­mers of joy.

    The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin is a beau­ti­fully writ­ten and haunt­ing novel, a mood not usu­ally cap­tured by first time authors. The prose is lyri­cal and the char­ac­ters enchant­ing, even though they might not be like­able they grow on the reader and make one invest in their future.

    The rea­son I requested to be on the tour for this book is actu­ally quite nos­tal­gic. Many years ago, what seems like 100 years ago (and unfor­tu­nately, what seems like 100 lbs. as well) I walked along the Inca Trail in Bolivia(slightly less famous than its Peru­vian coun­ter­part which I walked sev­eral weeks later). After a few days we came upon an orchard in the Andes Moun­tains, ran by a Japan­ese orchardist (still inBo­livia) who let us stay the night and eat as much fruit as we can.

    I also worked in an orchard for a few years, back in Israel- a dif­fi­cult yet reward­ing job which I often view with rose col­ored glasses.
    So you see, my fas­ci­na­tion with orchards has been life­long, the smell of an orange orchard brings a back many sweet mem­o­ries, I sim­ply could not pass up this book.

    The depic­tion of the land and the fron­tier land­scape are writ­ten with clar­ity and sen­si­bil­ity as well as incor­po­rat­ing the char­ac­ters within it. The style worked very well for this novel because the peo­ple were part of the land, cul­ti­vated by it and not the other way around.

    "But the next day he stood in the mid­sec­tion of an apple tree and saw them come mean­der­ing down the orchard rows. He con­tin­ued with the shears in the high branches and watched them indi­rectly. They stopped down the row from him and sat in the grass."

    The theme of the book, peo­ple don't get over their losses, is estab­lished early on, about a quar­ter through the book. How­ever the Amer­i­can sense of opti­mism which every­thing will work out and good things will hap­pen is always present regard­less of the chal­lenges Chopin throws at her characters.

    The prose is beau­ti­fully writ­ten, but at time overly stretched. That being said, the author's tal­ent shines through­out the book, I cer­tainly hopes she keeps on writ­ing and am look­ing for­ward to read many more books of qual­ity from her pen.

    29 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 28, 2012

    Enjoyed reading this book.

    I chose this book as a change of pace from historical fiction and found it to be a relaxing read for me of a man who loved his fruit trees and the way of life alone working in his orchard. The two young girls that came to him from a life made to serve men sexually changed it all for him. He was gentle and kind to the girls and treated them as family trying to protect them although he was not totally successful in the end.

    I would recommend this book if you have any interest in the human condition and a simple way of life.

    15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Love the language

    The highlight of this book is the literary style. the language and lavish description is amazing. the magic is in the actual words. The down side of this book is that as far as the plot goes, it drags a bit. Characters are good and well developed. But the language!!! Wow!

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Good read

    Could 't put it down and didn't want it to end. Hope the author writes more vooks

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    again, 12.99? i know people hate these complaints in the reviews

    again, 12.99? i know people hate these complaints in the reviews but
    maybe the authors will speak up at some point--i'll wait for the
    wholesale warehouse version at 7.99 thanks

    13 out of 71 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    A beautiful book!

    Beautifully written. A sad tale with a thread of unconditional love woven through it. The story of a good man , who lived his life unobtrusively, but who left a legacy of love.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    Outstanding

    Could not put this down.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2012

    Beautifully written book

    The writing is perfectly matched to the lives and place of the characters. Shows how one seemingly small incident can be a big event that changes the path of many lives. Most importantly, the book brings to the fore how bad things that happen externally to our everyday environment require us to make decisions and take actions that we would never have imagined.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    A great story!

    A must read! The absolute poetry and musical quality of the prose is second only to the wonderful way the author explores the ways in which we love, share, hang on and let go. This is one of the best works I've read in quite sometime.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    I just finished this book and found it to be a wonderful read.

    I just finished this book and found it to be a wonderful read. I felt connected to the characters even if I didn't always understand their motivation.

    The plot is well thought out and the characters are completely drawn and totally believeable. My favorite book so far this year and I read a lot!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Hard to pick up.

    This book started out well, however, after the hanging it went really bad. The writer isnt sure of what direction she is going. I slaved through the last 180 pages. Picking it up to read was almost punishing. Unfortunately, i make myself read every book i buy, however i do not recommend it.

    7 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    beautiful

    If i could write a worthy review of this book I would have written this book myself.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Great!

    I listened to this during my commutes back and forth to work. Found myself sitting in my car just listening because i was enjoying it so much.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    or check it out at your public library

    or check it out at your public library

    5 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Let me begin by saying that I have wanted to read this book sinc

    Let me begin by saying that I have wanted to read this book since before it was released. I felt drawn to it the moment that I read the synopsis, and the fact that I lived for a time in Washington State and loved the area only compounded my desire. So you can imagine how excited I was to get the opportunity to join this book tour!

    Talmadge has been alone much of his life. A lone orchard farmer, he has been on his own since his mother died when he was but a teenager, and his sister mysteriously disappeared soon after. Then one day decades later enter two young pregnant girls, and Talmadge has something in his life outside of the orchard to focus on.

    This story was beautifully quiet and reflective, and it most definitely is character-driven. The story could be very still and quiet at times, and it was only the characters propelling it forward.

    Talmadge is a very stable, dedicated and committed man. Hardworking, ethical, sober and earthy, he keeps himself apart from the world, both logistically (in his orchard isolated from civilization), and emotionally and psychologically. He is the orchard manifested in human form.

    Caroline Middey is a "medicine woman" who was called out to the farm when Talmadge was young. After his mother died, Caroline watched over him and his sister. After Talmadges's sister disappears and Talmadge ages, Caroline becomes a good friend and confidant, and later a surrogate mother to Angeline.

    Clee is one of the Nez Perce that stopover in the orchard a couple of times a year on their way to auction with the wild horses they capture. He and Talmadge become friends as boys, even though Clee is mute and never speaks a word.

    Della and Jane enter Talmadge's life as two pregnant children, running in fear from a demon. Della becomes a surrogate wild child to Talmadge, and grows to be a half-feral androgynous woman who never stops running from her demons, and who haunts Talmadge to his death.

    Angeline is born on the orchard to one of the girls, and she grows up in the orchard. Talmadge is the only father she's ever known. She is the female version of Talmadge, and the opposite of Della. Quiet and contemplative, uncomplaining and enduring and resigned, she is a gentle soul, yet tough and determined.

    This story can be heart-breaking at times, and can grab you by the gut and pull you along. It was as if Della became the main plot of the story, with Angeline the sub-plot, and Talmadge was the catalyst through which to present these two plots.

    The setting to this story is everything. Without the orchards, this story couldn't exist. It plays such a central part in the lives of the characters. Talmadge loves the orchards, and Angeline loves the orchards, because she loves Talmadge. Like Talmadge, the orchard is "no part of this world", and holds itself apart from everything else, rarely invaded by the outside.

    My final word: Lovely and lyrical. Descriptive without being overly done. Restrained. Carefully drawn characters deep with emotion. This story is a beautiful example of what makes a family: love, commitment, dedication, forgiveness. Family goes beyond blood. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a slow, quiet read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Poignant, nuanced, richly detailed, with remarkably descriptive

    Poignant, nuanced, richly detailed, with remarkably descriptive passages. The sense of time and sense of place are exquisitely drawn. Coplin does not let me turn away from these people,
    developed more by what they see and feel and sense than by what they say. I want to see their land. I will remember this book for a long time and recommend it to many but not to all, for this is not a book for everyone. For me, it was that type of book that leaves me just a beat slower to pick up what I read next.... I leave it thinking about how we see wisdom, true contentment, and peace as opposed to mere happiness, facile satisfaction, and what we accept as knowledge.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2013

    It's an Opus. This is no ordinary writing, it's a fine piece of

    It's an Opus. This is no ordinary writing, it's a fine piece of music that affects your emotions. The topic of abuse is hard, but the story is exquisitely told.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    I couldn't finish this book. It started out okay but it was so

    I couldn't finish this book. It started out okay but it was so slow and depressing I quit reading it. I do like the lyrical writing style of the writer but that's really the only good thing I can say about this book. Save your money.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    Anonymous

    I agree that it started off fine. It is becoming tedious fot me now.my interest is waning.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2013

    Highly, highly recommended.

    One of the best books I've read in a very long time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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