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The Orchardist

Average Rating 4
( 182 )
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5 Star

(75)

4 Star

(56)

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(22)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

31 out of 44 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

14 out of 73 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Too slow.

    The story in this novel is very promising and the loneliness of living in the mountains beautifully captured. However, the detachment of the characters was married with emotionally empty characters. No one ever strongly reacted to abuse, suicide, murder etc. This made me as a reader detach from the story as well. In addition, the writer added so many details of the character's life that it did not help the story and dragged the book on and on and on. I almost gave up. The end didn't make it worthwhile to finish.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    it was okay

    The story was okay however the characters were so unfinished. There was so much descriptive narrative about the place and land that you felt more connected to the place than the characters. The characters had very little dialogue and there was very little insight into what they were thinking/feeling. It was hard to connect with them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    The premise of this book is terrific and had promise, but the ex

    The premise of this book is terrific and had promise, but the execution just isn't there.  It felt as if the author was throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the story.  (And seriously, the mute Native American?)  Rambling, repetitive, and disjointed in places.  I stuck it out hoping for a satisfying ending, but that did not happen.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    The Orchardist

    This book was chosen bt the Clifton Psrk Half on library as a 2 town 1 book title. I found it very dull, repetitious, and characters were a bit wishy washy. Not a top pick for me but book was only 4.99.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Sad

    Some poetic passages but no light

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2013

    Very Disappointing!

    My book club and I thought this would be a wonderful book to read and discuss. Instead, it turned out to be boring, depressing, and had no depth what so ever! We all agreed that it was below all of our expectations. Who writes these reviews on the covers of these books? That was our question. The main character was dull, predictable, and as lifeless as the pages of words. There were so many ways the author could have taken this story and made it more interesting and readable. The ending was dull and without any details of what the character did with her future. It was hard earned money down the drain!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Didn't hold my interest

    The plot started out really well! About 100 pages in,however, I was struggling to continue. I couldn't figure out what the point of this story was. I was not happy with the ending either.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Waste of time

    This book was slow, boring, dull, and disappointing. I hoped it would get better, but it didn't. I was almost relieved to get to the disappointing ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

    Couldn't finish it

    Although I started out interested in what would happen to the characters, I found myself growing tired of the constant state of depression and unhappiness they were in and I was only half way through. I was hoping that it would end on some positive encouraging note but when I flipped ahead a bit I saw just more sadness and drear. Ultimately lost interest and quit bothering to open it up, so no idea how it wrapped up. I bought it because it was a B&N staff recommendation. So much for that source.

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    Posted October 4, 2013

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    Posted January 24, 2013

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    Posted September 9, 2012

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