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The Orchardist

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  23,868 ratings  ·  4,025 reviews
U osvit dvadesetoga stoljeća, u zabačenome kutku sjeverozapada Amerike, voćar Talmadge, samotnjak, skrbi o svojim jabukama i marelicama kao da su mu rođena djeca. Jednoga dana, na tržnici mu dvije tinejdžerice ukradu nešto voća. Poludivlje su, prestrašene i u visokoj trudnoći. Slijede Talmadgea do njegova imanja, gdje se neobično srode s njegovim načinom života. Ali njihov ...more
Audio CD, 12 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 2012)
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Cayce I don't think it needs to be a story that "makes a point." If you were to tell the story of your life, would it have a point?

I don't even think it's…more
I don't think it needs to be a story that "makes a point." If you were to tell the story of your life, would it have a point?

I don't even think it's meant to be a period novel, because it's themes are vast and timeless. I feel The Orchadist was a story about human relationships, both with other people and with a place. (less)
Shawna Putting my English major hat on I would probably tie it to all broken sibling relationships in the book -- between Della and Jane, and Talmadge and…morePutting my English major hat on I would probably tie it to all broken sibling relationships in the book -- between Della and Jane, and Talmadge and his sister, perhaps even Caroline and her apprentice who died. All these close relationships in the book are ultimately broken. Perhaps dying at birth ultimately spares one some of the pain of losing a loved one later in life.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Will Byrnes
Let’s state it up front. This is a GREAT book. Not a pretty good book with some nice qualities, but a powerful, beautiful, thoughtful and incredibly moving work of art that will be read for generations. The Orchardist is even more incredible for being a first novel, the best first I have read since Edgar Sawtelle. Yes, that good.
Talmadge had lived forty years in the orchard without any exceptional event happening to him, barring inclement weather or some horticultural phenomenon. Nothing to spe
This was a slow, luxurious read for the first 200 pages. I was steeped in the landscape, the time period, the characters and enough of a plot to keep me turning the pages. The writing was deceptively simple at times, almost staccato in rhythm, yet highly evocative and well-matched to the rural setting of the book. I was captivated by Coplin's beautiful prose and her instinct to reveal just enough about her characters but never too much inner detail, as if seen through a veil.

However mid-way the
It is a rare read that cuts through the surface noise of daily life and becomes the one sound you can hear clearly, like a church bell on a still winter morning. It commands your full attention and you willingly shut out the world and surrender to the power of its images, characters and the force of its story. Amanda Coplin’s debut novel, The Orchardist, is one such book.

Set in the early years of the 20th century in the golden valleys and granite hills of Chelan county in north-central Washingt
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin marks the debut of a talented new American writer. But midway through the novel I paused and asked myself, why am I reading this? Is it believable?

Coplin’s spare, post-modern prose was controlled and the voice unique. The setting—the dry eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains at the turn of the 20th Century—was also unique and evocatively rendered. The characters possessed a timeless, mythic quality as if carved from stone, and the story itself, as one book blur
I loved the balance between reflection and emotional engagement in this tale. The sense of connection between working the land and creation of a bridge to save the human heart. It makes me hold a fancy word on my tongue—‘luminous’. It appears apt for how the universal shines through the particular in the book’s clear prose, how the natural world is cast in a clear light, banishing the dark shadows of life to a compost of the soil.

This is the story of Talmadge, an unmarried orchardist in the Went
We do not belong to ourselves alone

This is a beautiful, evocative novel. The writing is slow and eloquent. The orchardist is in many ways reminiscent of three of my best-loved books -
Blessings, The Poisonwood Bible and The Snow Child. In all of these stories there's a marked focus on the land. So much so that the landscape almost becomes one of the characters.

The author is also more concerned with the emotions behind an action or choice, than the action or choice itself. Her descriptions of fee
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Amanda Coplin sets THE ORCHARDIST in central Washington, the region in which she spent her youth. Her knowledge of its history, geography, architecture, and especially its people, draws us into the beauty and ugliness of life in the Wenatchee area around the turn of the 20th century.

William Talmadge is a man of quiet tenacity. He has lived alone for forty years, nurturing his fruit trees and living by the simple rhythm of the seasons. His orchards are his anchor, and he needs little else but th
I won this book from goodreads first reads.

Why do people read books? I don't know about you but I read to either escape to someplace or time different from my own or to learn something. For most people I know this why they read.
Then why do I keep coming across books with such disturbing themes? Why on earth did the author think anyone would enjoy reading about fictional child prostitution? A man drugged out on opium offered a very young child to an old man. Completely disturbing. I don't even w
I have been thinking a lot about this book since I finished it, waiting to write about it. It is quite extraordinary. The beginning in particular for me was totally mesmerizing. I could have stayed forever suspended in time in the orchard, sleeping on my side in the long grass in the sun among the apple and apricot trees. I don't think I've read in a long time a writer who captures, and holds, time like this. The whole book is drenched in it, but particularly the beginning of the book, when we a ...more
This is a gorgeous book…powerful, moving and beautifully written with a spare, eloquent writing style similar to Kent Haruf, one of my favorite authors. The story takes place in Washington State at the beginning of the 20th century…yet in tone, it reminded me so much of Haruf’s novel, Plainsong, which was also lean and lyrical.
Talmadge, a quiet, compassionate and solitary man attempts to befriend two feral and pregnant runaway girls, Della and Jane, who were orphaned very young and shaped by h
Doug Bradshaw
George R.R. Martin — 'A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.'

I don't know if any of you have seen the German movie, Sonata for a Good Man, but The Orchardist is the story of one such person. A very very good man. Prepare to live in another life and reality that is set back in time about 150 years where life is harsh and survival is a day to day thing. Get ready for hardship, loss of family, sacrifice, hard work, harsh weather along wit
The Orchardist is beautifully written and stunning debut novel by Amanda Coplin. I was really impressed with this book. It isn’t a fast paced novel by any means; it is more character-based than plot-based but the characters and sense of place are so exquisitely written that I did not want this book to finish.

Set at the turn of the century in a rural stretch of Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist by the name of William Talmadge tends to apples and apricots. A gentle man who spends his time
I really wanted to like the book -- the setting was great, and the characters were interesting. The plot, however, never achieved coherence, breaking down entirely after a point and finishing with one of the most pathetic endings I have ever had the misfortune to read. The prose, while solid, lacked the brilliance necessary to sustain interest as the narrative meandered to its unfortunate (although by the time it arrived, welcome) close. The author has a talented imagination and good descriptive ...more
Just finished this and I am drained. Drained! So glad I wasn't reading the last 100 or so pages on public transportation. I sobbed. Literally. I was sobbing. Really haven't been hit this hard by a book in a long, long, time.

First off, the story wasn't flawless. There were a few elements of the story that seemed to stretch possibility. But I am more than willing to overlook them given the sheer awe I feel over this being a first novel.

Here's why.

- Point of view. Masterful. Coplin presents a sce
Judi/Judith Riddle
Just one more chapter, I would promise myself and then I would read two, three or four, making myself late for some other activity or sleep. I couldn't stop reading this emotionally intense, gripping tale of William Talmadge who loved and tended his orchards with devotion in early 1900s rural Oregon. One day, two ferrel young and pregnant girls appeared to be hiding on his vast property and that is the day his life changed forever. Without hesitation or question he took on the role of their prot ...more
Sep 21, 2012 Judy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dem, Sue, Kimberly, Pragya and any other friend considering reading this
Recommended to Judy by: Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"
The Orchardist tells the story of lonely Talmadge, the orchardist, a man deep-seeded in grief from the loss of his beloved sister who mysteriously disappeared. Talmadge's life is turned upside down when two runaway sisters begin stealing apples and food from him. Although I never fully got accustomed to the writing style, the story was compelling and I felt the author portrayed atmosphere exceptionally well in spite of the aloofness of the storytelling.

Here is an example of the writing chosen no
switterbug (Betsey)
In this understated and emotionally raw novel of a family born as much from choice as from blood, debut novelist Amanda Coplin explores themes of love, loyalty, courage, compassion, revenge, and honor, as well as the lifelong, traumatic impact of both childhood abuse and loss.

The novel opens with orchardist William Talmadge, a tall, broad-shouldered and solitary man who is composed of the most steadfast moral fiber and potent vulnerability of almost any protagonist that I can recall in recent (n
Oh my, what a heartbreaking and haunting first novel Amanda Coplin has given to the reader. I can not think where to start with what I loved about this book. The lyrical prose, which catches the language of an earlier and in some ways simpler time. So many thoughts and feelings come to these characters, but so much is left that was the way of these relationships. The breathtaking, vivid descriptions of the peaceful orchard, surrounded by a much wilder world. A world in which these ...more
Kris Irvin
And so we've come to yet another book I am not sure how to review. Okay.

At first, I had a hard time getting into The Orchardist. I have a hard time reading books where dialogue has no quotation marks - it just bugs me. This is probably one of the first books with that "flaw" that I've ever finished. I guess it helps that there is very, very little dialogue in the book. I mean, it goes on for pages and pages without anyone talking to anyone else.

Which is one of my gripes. Slooowwww book.

My first good reads review!

Okay, so even though I rated this book with 3 stars, i really feel that it is a moving, beautifully written story. The author did a a great job with the characters and their interactions with each other. It was a touching story at some points but at others I felt underwhelmed. The first third of the book swept me away and after that I just kept waiting for the next conflict in the story to happen, for something to happen. I did enjoy the material even though nothing ha
“The Orchardist” is a difficult book to describe. As I read I found myself continually wondering if it was really as good as it seemed to be until finally, about half way through, I admitted that, yes, it really was excellent. The story is languid though not meandering; in fact it goes right to the crux of things. William Talmadge , the orchardist lost his mother as a teenager which left just he and his younger sister to get by on their Washington farm in the middle of the 19th century. It was a ...more
Amanda Coplin was born to write and her debut book, The Orchardist, is an achievement.

Set at the turn of the twentieth century, the book initially focuses on a solitary man named Talmadge: a man who nurtures apples, apricots, and plums from the land and mourns the death of his mother and disappearance of his sister who vanished with barely a trace. His life is very predictable until one day, two barefoot, filthy, and visibly pregnant teenage sisters appear.

The description of the runaways – and
Amanda Coplin has written her debut novel in spare, lyrical language. The story is set in the early 20th Century in Washington State where teenagers William Talmadge and his beloved sister tend an orchard after the death of their mother. His sister disappears one day, leaving nothing but her bonnet in the woods. Talmadge is left with a sense of remorse that he was never able to locate her. He has no sense of closure since he does not know if she ran away or was abducted.

The hard-working Talmadge
4.5 stars

I really hate authors who manage to pull off a first novel as lyrical and beautiful as this ("hate" as in -- I wish I were them...)

There's a lot going on this novel. Which seems strange, because if you rattle off the plot line, it seems "quiet." And in many ways, it is.
But I think that's what I enjoyed most about it.

Another reviewer complained about the characters not talking to one another enough. To me, they missed the whole point. Dialogue wasn't always necessary. They already knew.
☔Diane S.
I loved absolutely everything about this book: the cover, the setting, the prose and the characters. That this is a first novel is staggering. Talmadge has lived alone for forty years, after the death of his mother and the disappearance of his sister, tending his orchards and giving a free pass to the wranglers and Indians that come onto his land with wild horses. His characters is stoic, strong, he is someone who always tries to do the right thing and he is someone I would love to meet in real ...more
Cindy Knoke
This is a beautifully written book, an incandesant lamentation and exultation of the loneliness and deep contentment of solitude. The author tells us, “…sorrow came from these two feelings, the happines of company, the anxiety of interrupted solitude.” Each finely developed character in this stunning book experiences this profound conflict and one senses that the author, through her characters might also. The writers life I imagine is in many ways a solitary one. Amanda Coplin spent eight years ...more
From the very first page of The Orchardist I knew that I would love this book. The detailed, flowing description of Talmadge sets the scene and writing that continues throughout the story.

Set in the orchard that Talmadge came to live in as a child with his widowed mother and younger sister, The Orchardist is a contraction of itself - dark yet heartening, lyrical yet stark, complicated yet straightforward. Amanda Coplin contructs a story that is simple in plot but epic in execution.

Talmadge is ge
The Orchardist is a story featuring a main protagonist, an orchardist, a worker of a wonderful apricot orchard. This is a tale of the country of a modest man who lives by modest standards he happens to come upon two desperate souls, young women and he takes them very slowly under his wing for raising. A new birth an offspring soon learns of the wonders of the orchard and grows to love it, to want to live there. One of the women wants more as time passes she wants to be amongst the men that work ...more
I know I've fallen in love with a book when the lush language is delicate in its delivery yet packs a punch. This is the case in Amanda Coplin's debut novel, The Orchardist. Novice and veteran writers alike should be envious of her prose. I was immediately drawn into the story of William Talmadge, an old bachelor who takes in the feral and pregnant teenage sisters, Jane and Della. The sad and horrific living situation they escape is so heartbreaking and may bring the reader to tears but my mind ...more
I think it is best to preface a negative review with some praise. There is a lot to like in this book. Coplin is clearly a talented writer, and this is a great offering for a first novel. Her style is both precise and pleasantly unhurried, full of rich imagery and thoughtful insights about human motivations and habits. I had no trouble envisioning the characters in this book, nor with exploring the environments they inhabit. I thought the book's opening act was riveting, which is probably why I ...more
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Fabulous Five: Initial discussion questions 5 6 May 26, 2015 01:48PM  
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Talmadge's Sister 7 216 Jul 27, 2014 03:43PM  
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A native of Washington State, Amanda Coplin has been a Fellow at The Fine Arts Work Centre in Provincetown, Massachusetts, as well as Ledig House International Writers' Residency Program in Ghent, New York. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
More about Amanda Coplin...
Buzz Books 2012

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“She revered solitude, but only because there was the possibility of breaking it. Of communing at last with another.” 20 likes
“And that was the point of children, thought Caroline Meddey: to bind us to the earth and to the present, to distract us from death.” 16 likes
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