The Lemon Orchard

The Lemon Orchard

4.2 51
by Luanne Rice

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From bestselling author Luanne Rice—a captivating and sexy novel of love, both enduring and unexpected

Year after year, Luanne Rice’s fans eagerly await her next book. Their enthusiasm is soon to be rewarded with The Lemon Orchard, Rice’s romantic new love story between two people from seemingly different worlds.

In the five

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From bestselling author Luanne Rice—a captivating and sexy novel of love, both enduring and unexpected

Year after year, Luanne Rice’s fans eagerly await her next book. Their enthusiasm is soon to be rewarded with The Lemon Orchard, Rice’s romantic new love story between two people from seemingly different worlds.

In the five years since Julia last visited her aunt and uncle’s home in Malibu, her life has been turned upside down by her daughter’s death. She expects to find nothing more than peace and solitude as she house-sits with only her dog, Bonnie, for company. But she finds herself drawn to the handsome man who oversees the lemon orchard. Roberto expertly tends the trees, using the money to support his extended Mexican family. What connection could these two people share? The answer comes as Roberto reveals the heartbreaking story of his own loss—a pain Julia knows all too well, but for one striking difference: Roberto’s daughter was lost but never found. And despite the odds he cannot bear to give up hope.

Set in the sea and citrus-scented air of the breathtaking Santa Monica Mountains, The Lemon Orchard is an affirming story about the redemptive power of compassion and the kind of love that seems to find us when we need it most.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Still devastated by grief five years after the death of her husband and teenage daughter in a car accident, Julia hopes to find solitude and solace while house-sitting at her aunt and uncle’s California estate. Amid the lush landscapes and lemon groves of Malibu, Julia does find these things—in addition to an unexpected relationship with Roberto, who oversees the estate. Roberto, an undocumented immigrant, connects with Julia over her loss: he became separated from his young daughter during their crossing from Mexico and believes her to be dead. Julia, an anthropologist specializing in movements and migrations, thinks that the little girl is still alive and sets out to find her—even if doing so means potentially losing Roberto. The plot alternates from an initially tepid pace to moments of intensity—as when the estate is threatened—that seem largely irrelevant to the developing narrative. Nevertheless, Rice’s fans will appreciate the evocative setting and unconventional romance, as well as the harrowing, if familiar, depictions of border crossing and the fascinating parallels drawn between Julia’s research interests (she studies the Irish who arrived in America over a century ago) and modern-day Mexican immigrants. Agent: Andrea Cirillo, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
Five years after the death of her daughter, Julia comes to Malibu to house-sit and is drawn to the overseer of the orchard property, an illegal immigrant who has his own tragic past. When Julia's aunt and uncle ask her to stay in their Malibu home while they travel to Ireland for a research project, she welcomes the opportunity. Tucked into the Santa Monica Mountains with its lemon grove and views of the sea, the Malibu property has been a sanctuary for Julia her whole life, so different from her starchy, academic East Coast upbringing. Now it serves as a different kind of refuge--an escape from the memories of her daughter that are so entwined with the New England home she can't bear to move out of yet can't seem to move forward in either. Hiking the area woods and through the property, Julia runs into the handsome overseer, Roberto, and finds herself drawn to him in a way she doesn't understand, until she realizes he has lost a daughter, too, during their arduous and dangerous trek from Mexico into the U.S. As the story unfolds, the arresting tale of Roberto's loss wakes Julia up from the apathy she's experienced since Jenny's death, and, with her background as an anthropologist, she'll delve into the moving plight of immigrants from Latin America as a whole and Roberto's heart-wrenching experience in particular, while putting together the pieces of a puzzling mystery that may ultimately tear her from the first person to touch her heart since the day she lost her daughter. Rice here takes her signature themes of family and loss into the difficult and enigmatic landscape of illegal immigration to powerful effect (though readers may question the likelihood of the romantic elements of the storyline). An engaging and texturizing Southern California backdrop also subtly spotlights the struggle of land development and the environment as well as the fairy-tale atmosphere of Hollywood, and the book seamlessly includes details and plot points that both ground and enrich the story through its setting. Lovely and compelling, with quiet yet brave social commentary that enhances the book's impact.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.14(h) x 1.03(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for LITTLE NIGHT:

“Poetic and stirring…beautifully combines [Rice’s] love of nature and the power of family.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Best-selling author Rice’s 30th book is an outstanding read that both chills and warms the soul . . . highly recommended.”
Library Journal, starred review

“Never rushing her story or revelations, Rice reaches the satisfying conclusion that while wounds run deep, love runs deeper.”

“A classic Rice page-turner.”
Good Housekeeping

“In Little Night, Rice plumbs the depths of the damage that physical and mental abuse cause the recipients and allows us into the heads of those who suffer these situations. In spite of the serious nature of the subject matter, the story is filled with happy moments and an undying hope for future happiness.”

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Customer Reviews

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The Lemon Orchard 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
What a moving story! Two people brought together through fate only to realize how much they have in common and how they can rescue each other from the fragmented lives they are living. Luanne Rice describes time, place and circumstances so perfectly that our minds can see in detail each cacti needle, grain of sand, and tear shed. I felt like I was there or at the very least watching a movie instead of reading a book. I was thirsty just reading Roberto and Rosa’s long journey through the desert and could smell the fires that were burning in the canyon. The Lemon Orchard is a multifaceted story and very timely with a focus on immigration and what people do to provide the best lives possible for their family. Interwoven are losses of both Julia and Roberto with just a thread of hope. Their friendship turns romantic at the perfect pace.  I reached the last page way too quickly and can only hope and pray that some time in the future Rice will bless us with a sequel. This is a book that should be on everyone’s summer reading lists.  An entertaining story that will make a lasting impression on everyone that reads it. 
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
To be honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this book at first but I am so glad that I did. It is a beautifully written story about two broken people finding each other and a way to heal the hurts in their hearts. The book starts off with a heartrending story and keeps the emotional level up through the rest of the book. Julia is in California at her aunt and uncle’s lemon orchard house sitting for them while they are in Ireland. She is still mourning the loss of her daughter in a car accident five years before and living in body but not spirit. Her marriage was troubled at the time of the accident and the death of her husband in the same accident left Julia with a mix of grief and guilt. While at the orchard she meets Roberto, a migrant worker from Mexico who is in charge of the orchard’s workings. In Roberto she sees a kindred soul who has also had loss in his life. In an odd coincidence, his daughter was lost five years before at the same time as Julia’s daughter. Eventually the two share their stories and find themselves falling in love. As wonderful as it is for the two to find happiness in each other, it is an incomplete happiness because of their shared sense of loss. Ms. Rice must have done an incredible amount of research in this book to so accurately portray the journey that Roberto went through coming from Mexico and the terrible thing that happened. When Julia becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of that awful journey, the reader finds themselves immersed in the immigration issue from a point of view that most of us never consider. Interestingly for me, the day I finished this book I watched a TV news magazine do a story that covered one of the type of groups that Julia goes to on her quest. I think the character of Julia is especially interesting because she finds happiness is prepared to sacrifice it all for the peace of mind of her lover and that she can find a measure of solace by doing so. This is an excellent book that needs to be read when one has the time to really sit and read it and to get immersed in the story. I found it impossible to put down and thoroughly enjoyed it.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'The Lemon Orchard' is a captivating and exceptional novel that deals with love, loss, self discovery, and acceptance. It tells the story of Julia, the main character of the novel, whose life has been torn apart after the death of her husband and daughter. Julia travels to visit relatives in Malibu and to hopefully start fresh. While she's there, Julia will experience healing, growth, and the one thing she never expected - love. This was the first novel I have read by the author and I was blown away. Her attention to detail, the vivid descriptions, and the intimate characteristics of the characters and the setting captured my heart and attention from the very first page. The story is heartbreaking at the beginning and slowly transforms itself into an uplifting story full of hope and love. Julia is a wonderful main character. She's completely broken after the sudden death of her husband and daughter - she doesn't believe her life will ever be worthwhile again. Once she meets the handsome caretaker of the lemon orchard, Roberto, the two immediately connect due to their shared grief and pain. It's an intense and powerful connection and I found it both intriguing and beautiful to watch their relationship develop. The story is told from varying viewpoints throughout, which made it really interesting to read. We get to experience the story from the stance of several characters and their individual insights and thoughts really gave the story more depth. The writing was phenomenal and the author's immense talent was evident with each page. This is a novel that overcomes labels and genre preferences - it is one that must be experienced and not merely read. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary literature, women's fiction, and those who wish to expand their reading into a new and beautiful experience. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
CSHO More than 1 year ago
*This book was given to me for a fair and honest review* I was so excited to be given the opportunity to review Luanne Rice’s The Lemon Orchard. I have been a fan for years so this is like the holy grail of reviews for me! Luanne never fails to deliver a wonderfully thought-out and extraordinarily engaging book. The Lemon Orchard was thought-provoking and lovely, a book to be read not only with your brain, but your heart as well. The story of Julia and Roberto was heartbreaking yet magical. Finding love after tragedy is hard enough, but struggling with the unknown makes it almost seem impossible. Yet Roberto and Julia reveled in their time together, simmering in the love and passion that they knew was on borrowed time. They fell hard and fast, united in grief and sadness of horrible losses that they both endured but their love made their hearts begin to heal. This is not your typical happily-ever-after story. This is what I loved about it. It was REAL. What takes place in the book is real life. Everyday people do not have the sunshine and roses love all the time. There are happy days, there are sad days, there is tragedy, there is healing. Roberto and Julia were the most genuine couple in a romance that I have read in a very long time. They reminded me that sometimes love means letting go…. I recommend The Lemon Orchard to those who do not like “cookie cutter” romances, who are willing remember that love does not always have a happy ending. Originally posted to Books Books Books Blog
NickyCaffey More than 1 year ago
A wonderful romance. The plot is well structured and the characters are very likable. I found this one very hard to put down. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of Thunderclan in an or<_>gy! <br> The species is cat. <br> Yaoi, yuri, AND straight. <br> You can find the characters in the allegiances of The Last Hope (Warriors Omen of the Stars serries, book #6). <br> No plot. <br> Hope l got everything...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey! I will be willing to write human x human and cat x cat oneshot fics! I will write yaoi (boy x boy), yuri (girl x girl), and straight. The amount of cats or people in the fic doesn't matter, I could write in the entire Clan if I had to! (Please keep in mind that I do not write ra<_>pe/abuse fics.) <br> <br>Request form/sheet: <br>OC or book/show character: <br>Species: <br>Characters (their names and appearances): <br>Yaoi, yuri, or straight: <br>Plot or no plot: <br> <br>I will work on 2 or 3 requests at a time, I haven't forgotten about any of your requests! <br>Sincerely, <br>Hydro
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
2_Irish_Girls More than 1 year ago
&ldquo;Before dawn, the air smelled of lemons.&rdquo;  This book is so beautifully written that it should come with a warning. It will make you laugh, cry, and feel angry all at the same time. I had looked at this book a few times, but when one of my favorite authors (Wally Lamb) said that this was one of the best books he had read this year, I knew I had to read it.  Julia is mourning the loss of her daughter from a car accident five years ago. She has pretty much been holed up in her house since then. She agrees to house sit for her aunt on the other side of the country at her sprawling estate. There she encounters Roberto, the man who is the manager of the lemon orchard at the estate. Roberto also lost his daughter trying to cross the border in the Arizona dessert. Their slow developing relationship breathes life back in to Julia. They bond over knowing loss and pain, and begin to have hope again for happiness after knowing only sadness for so long Julia is determined to help Roberto, but she may have to sacrifice her own fleeting happiness in order to do so.  Every line of this book is so well written, that you feel as if you can actually smell the lemons and the California ocean breeze. Every emotion is so raw and real that you cannot help but love and relate to these characters. You are pulling for Roberto and Julia to find some sort of happiness through all the pain and misery they have been through. There are some heavy subjects that are main plot points throughout this book, death of a child, immigration laws. Whatever your feelings on the subject are, it will make you take pause and think about things in a different light.  This book stayed with me for quite some time after I had finished. By far one of the most moving books I have ever read. This was my first Luanne Rice book, but certainly not my last.  5 stars and a Lemon Drop Martini! Enjoy! ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great writing; you can smell the freshness of the Pacific ocean and the lemon orchards.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alright, first things first. Your name. It's extremely narcissistic to refer to yourself as a genius, when you can't even spell genius right. Even if you were a genius, it would still be narcissistic of you to call yourself a genius. If you really were a genius, you would know that it's kind of rude to call yourself a genius. Okay, mini-rant over. Your story: a couple more facts and explanations would have been nice. Why was she sitting in a closet to begin with? How old is she? Is she at school? Maybe you explain this later, but whatever. There were a couple of grammatical/spelling errors, but that wasn't that bad. I didn't understand Veronica's motives or why she didn't really seem freaked about her eyes turning red. Other than those points, it was fairly good and suspenseful. I liked the concept and would be interested in reading more later. If you could change your name, that is. Anyway, your plot was great and had nice pacing. <br> Sincerly,<p> ~A. Nony Mouse
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Two lives engulfed by sorrow meet and find a way of life that breeds survival for both in extraordinary ways!  Julie lost her daughter Jennie five years ago and with that a part of herself so closely were they entwined in their daily lives.  She also lost her husband at that time; but as sad as that was, it wasn&rsquo;t as traumatic as the loss of Julie&rsquo;s child.  For five years Julie has kept close to home but finally agrees to house-sit for her aunt and uncle in Malibu, California. The lemon orchard grove and nearby Pacific Ocean breed some unexpected surprises! Roberto is an illegal immigrant who is the manager of the lemon orchard grove.  All of his money goes to his family in Mexico but his heart lies elsewhere. He too has lost a daughter, Rosa, who disappeared five years ago.  He has no idea whether she is alive or dead, but he holds onto a very dim hope she could have been found and adopted by some kind family. The sharing of that secret opens Julie&rsquo;s heart and provides a ray of hope to Roberto. Romance infrequently develops from such pain and yet a similar bond can grow stronger and stronger from the sharing.  So it is here, but don&rsquo;t try to predict how this all turns out because you will fail for sure.  Closer and closer they do grow as they formulate a plan for the future.  In the process of carrying out this plan, the reader will learn about the personal side of what is a troubling issue to so many in this country America, so often the ultimate refuge of those fleeing poverty, danger and other well-known problems.  But this story defies the stereotypical image of the illegal immigrant, depicting an actual person with a family and dreams of a better future.  No one is taking sides in this novel as to how they should be treated, but reading and pondering this particular scenario puts a whole new light on usually not discussed vulnerable aspects of the problem. This is the story of a quest for healing and hope.  It&rsquo;s about how one singular event changes a person&rsquo;s life and love forever. It&rsquo;s no storybook romance but a real, gritty and yet charming account of the possibilities of renewal for those who have been rendered fragile through no fault of their own. Luanne Rice has written many novels but this is one of her best!  Very nicely crafted, Luanne Rice, story with some lovely, lovely descriptions of the breathtaking Santa Monica Mountains and lands around it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written story of two people finding their way and healing. An emotional story of Julia, set in breathtaking Santa Monica Mountains at her aunt and uncle&rsquo;s lemon orchard &ndash;house sitting with her dog Bonnie while they are away in Ireland. Julie is still mourning the loss of her daughter in a car accident and seeks solace and peace to deal with her grief and guilt. Her marriage was in trouble at the time of the accident, and compounded with the death of her husband and her daughter. While at the orchard she meets Roberto, a migrant worker from Mexico who is in charge of the orchard operations. As they say, some people are in your life for a season or a reason. I am a true believer of this. In this case Julia sees Roberto as a kindred spirit who has also experienced loss in his life, as his daughter went missing five years ago. This couple become close and fall in love; however, they still have their loss. Julia becomes obsessed solving the mystery of the journey of Roberto and his missing daughter. Julia decides to help find her and the tale that unfolds is breathtakingly beautiful, suspenseful, romantic and completely captivating. Roberto has a heartbreaking story and a pain Julia knows too well. Rice is at the top of her game with the well-written Lemon Orchard-the intimate details, plot, and finely developed characters. This is a must read and highly recommend!
Two2dogs More than 1 year ago
I DO RECOMMEND THIS BOOK! I found this book very interesting, at first I thought it was a fairy tale romance but after reading more I realized its a human story. I hope more people read this book and open their hearts to other human beings, a little human kindness goes a long way, we never know when we are going to need a helping hand and understanding.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pulled at my heart and kept me turning the page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read other books by this author and enjoyed them, but this book was a huge dissapointment to me. The ending seemed lame, as if it had been thrown together quickly and without a lot of consideration.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, had a hard time putting it down.
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
Julia's life has been turned upside down. Her sixteen year old daughter, Jenny, had a car accident killing herself and her father. When Julia's aunt and uncle ask her to come to Malibu and house sit for them while they travel she accepts hoping for peace and quiet. The lemon orchard is just as she remembers with the addition of the manager, Roberto.  The connection these two share is amazing and quite a story.  This is a book that when you finish it you stop and have to sit back and think about it. The beginning, middle, and ending were wonderful. I loved getting to know Julia and Roberto and their stories. Learning their past and their present made them very real to me. It is also kept me guessing as to what their future would be. The love these two shared was sweet and heart warming. They were true partners not just friends or lovers.  I had tears, smiles, and love all come from the story Luanne Rice told. The Lemon Orchard is an amazing story that I will happily recommend over and over again.