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The Orchard

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,184 ratings  ·  590 reviews
The Orchard is the story of a street-smart city girl who must adapt to a new life on an apple farm after she falls in love with Adrian Curtis, the golden boy of a prominent local family whose lives and orchards seem to be cursed. Married after only three months, young Theresa finds life with Adrian on the farm far more difficult and dangerous than she expected.

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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 21st 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,184 ratings  ·  590 reviews

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Cathrine ☯️
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
24 hours after beginning and 5 bold ★★★★★

“There are things you don’t talk about. There are things you don’t want people to know because as soon as they know, you change. You become someone different in their eyes.

I captured the pattern of the mowed fields, but I could never capture a green so deep it hurt, or the secret organic scent of the ground when it’s been sliced open with a plow blade. That couldn’t be captured with a camera lens or a pen. That sweet ache of nature and time that kept invi
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
Can't believe I did it again!! I actually own a copy of this book, yet borrowed it from the library and read the library copy before coming online to see this book on my 'Own' shelf!

A memoir that reads like fiction, I'm always impressed when authors can make their lives read so fluently and felt cohesive enough to come together as a novel. The story of a young girl, quickly marrying into a apple farm, and learning to harvest while also learning what is most important in life. Tough childhood, an
The Orchard contained some wonderful things besides apples, which are my favorite fruit because of their versatility and fascinating history. It also held characters who felt so familiar to me, a farm girl at heart. Even though I have never actually lived on a farm, it is in my blood as with many of those I know and love. It certainly did not feel like a memoir, almost too tragic to be true, and told in lovely writing and detail. I am one that would rather not think about what we ingest when we ...more
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I changed my mind about this book several times. It seemed so imperfect while I was reading it. And then midway through I have completely accepted it and loved it. I am very glad I read it. In the end I would say it is a beautiful book and an important one. I would say it is a book about being alone in the world, about being brave, about persevering, about not giving up on your dreams, about keeping this part that is only yours and independent while living in the world that is not exactly our dr ...more
I was up past one a.m. with this last night; it's not just a memoir, it's also slowly building suspense and subtly menacing horror and I had to finish it. Then I had to cry for awhile. ...more
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After having The Orchard on my ereader for several years I began it almost on a whim. The memoir was supposed to be my back-up book, always there in my purse for emergency reading needs, but once I started in on it I found it hard to do anything else.

Theresa Weir came from a very broken home. First her father abandoned the family, and then her mother drove off or disposed of her and her siblings one by one. Weir was barely twenty-one and living and working in her uncle’s seedy country bar when s
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
This beautifully written book is so much more than a memoir. It is a haunting story of the demise of the family farm and the rise of industrial farming, with all the chemical cocktails large-scale farming seems to necessitate. I am probably close to the age of the author and I , too, married at age 21. I read the book in one day, as it pulled me back in time and into the middle America of the 1970s. The author had a very unhappy childhood, cut short when her father left the family (two children ...more
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Reviews always confuse me. I am going to assume that nobody needs a plot recap. There are far more talented people than I who have already done that.

What I liked about the book is that it isn't an environmental tract warning against the use of pesticides. While it does show in a personal way how pesticides can destroy lives, that isn't really the point. At least not for me. It's not even about the city girl moving to the farm and dealing with the change in life style, the abusive mom, the confl
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
what the hell? i waffled a bit about putting this book on hold at the library, but ultimately decided, why not? it won't cost me anything but time, & time spent reading is never really time wasted, even if the book isn't that good. this book is not that good. the reviews & jacket description built this book up to be way more than it is. the review in "book page," in particular was all, "weir marries a man she hardly knows & moves to his isolated apple farm, where she learns of dangerous mysterie ...more
Linda (not getting friends updates at this time)
I wrote a review but got rid of it. I plan to reread this memoir again and I will write more then.
Diane S ☔
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I first started this book I wasn't really in the mood for a memoir and almost put it aside twice, but the writing was excellent and I found the people, Theresa and her uncle very interesting. By the time I was done I had goosebumps. This memoir is about how 2 people, both exceedingly young, who have little in common, trying to make a go of a marriage and an orchard. When they have children together, they form a family and grow together to find, love, peace and a sort of contentment. Yet the ...more
Uwe Hook
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Sometimes there are people you must forget because of the damage--blood ties or not." Theresa Weir describes her mother here, but could just as easily be referring to her vicious mother-in-law or one of the many men in the parade of her mother's unreliable, dishonest boyfriends. A luminous, tender memoir, The Orchard unfolds gradually, revealing a harsh, sometimes harrowing, childhood and an unlikely marriage between a stoic Iowa farm boy and a rudderless, rootless girl.

Weir's upbringing made h
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A memoir about apple farming and all the pesticide woes...

Narration: Ellen Archer
Setting: Iowa (I think)
Source: Audiobook (Library)


⇝Ratings Breakdown⇜

Plot: 3/5
Main Characters: 3/5
Secondary Characters: 3/5
The Feels: 3.7/5
Addictiveness: 3/5
Theme or Tone: 4/5
Flow (Writing Style): 4/5
Backdrop (World Building): 4/5
Originality: 5/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Narration: 3.5/5
Ending: 5/5 Cliffhanger: Nope
Steam Factor 0-5: 1

Total: 3.5/5 - GRADE = B-

⇝My Thoughts⇜

I don't read much non fiction…I only decide
Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Dearly
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In her dark and deeply feeling memoir, Weir shares her story with candid, unflinching prose, leaving the reader grieving for the Theresa that once was and craving a sweet, clean after-the-last-page for us all. I can honestly say that The Orchard is one of the most pivotal books I’ve ever read, irrevocably changing my view of the world.
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Theresa Weir is a best selling author, both under her own name and under the nom de plume Anne Frasier. however, this book is very, very different from all of her others. This time, she's telling us about her early life, her marriage and the apple farm she raised her family on. This book is unvarnished and honest, and from what some interviews I've read, I'd say that it was almost as difficult to write as it was to live. There were certainly happy moments, but there were plenty of horrifying one ...more
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
I always try to read books set in the Midwest or in Iowa. This one, for some reason really struck a chord with me. It was beautifully written and the story was so touching. There is the story of Adrian, the son who cannot leave the family farm. There is the story of the woman that he meets and marries shortly after despite the objections of both families. And of course there is the mother-in-law who lets Theresa know in no uncertain terms that she does not like her. Farming is such a hard life a ...more
L.K. Rigel
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People with brains and hearts
Honest. Real. Dangerous.

I've been thinking a lot about Theresa Weir's memoir, The Orchard, since I finished it yesterday at close to three in the morning. The book is elegant in the scientific sense - in its simplicity, clarity, and honesty.

Weir tells a story about family dysfunction, both intentional and careless cruelty, and hopelessly entrenched environmental corruption all redeemed by love - love of her husband and her children, but also of art and beauty.

I think this is a dangerous book. W
Paula Gallagher
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Clear your afternoon, because once you enter The Orchard you won’t notice your cell phone is ringing or the fact that you haven’t eaten dinner. It’s impossible not to be drawn into a Weir’s wrenchingly honest story, one that includes abandonment, neglect, longing, hard work and a fierce desire for a place in the world. Although a memoir, The Orchard reads like the best literary fiction, with a prose style that begs to be read aloud and shared, and unbelievable plot turns. Ultimately, The Orchard ...more
Sharon Huether
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A story of a family that farming apples was a past down tradition and all they did follow tradition, even the pesticides they stored and used.
The use of these chemicals claimed the lives of Grandad Curtis and son Adrian Curtis leaving his wife Theresa and two children to move away, still remembering what could have been if her husband Adrian had his way of farming.
This story was a page turner.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I received a free e-book copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Orchard tells the story of the author's youth and the circumstances surrounding the beginning of her marriage to Adrian, an apple farmer. However, while the eponymous orchard may seem a location out of a fairytale, in reality it conceals hard, unforgiving work, unwanted familial responsibilities and, the darkest secret of all, the use of pesticides in order to keep the apples healthy and beautiful.

Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Here's the review I wrote for the library blog:

I've enjoyed just about every novel Theresa Weir has written (both as herself and as Anne Frasier) so I was curious to read her memoir of life on an Iowa apple farm. That I liked the book isn't a shocker. And the fact that the book is darker in tone then the cover suggests was also to be expected considering the kind of writing she's always done. What did surprise me was how deeply I felt what she wrote about
A. S.
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
“The orchard” by Theresa Weir is a memoir of her life on the farm with her young husband. It is simultaneously a love story, a man versus nature battle, and a description of small town life

The story starts when Theresa, twenty-one years old and working at her Uncle Jim’s bar—meets the gorgeous Adrian Curtis, a farmer who works on his family’s apple farm and has a reputation of coming from a “cursed” background (various members of his family died in tragic ways, while the farm had its own set of
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-arc
I have read and truly enjoyed books by this author under both the Weir and Frasier names. While I do not generally like to read memoirs, I was attracted to this one due to having read quite a few of the author's fictional books. I am so glad that I received this ARC from Netgalley. It was such a moving story, and truly heart wrenching in places. I felt that this book read more like a work of fiction than a memoir, making it easy to read and more enjoyable for me than most books of the genre.

Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
"People who've never lived on a farm romanticize farm life. But people who grew up on a farm and perhaps still live on a farm romanticize it more. They guard it and protect it and pretend it's more than it is...They don't think about what will happen and who will be hurt"

Theresa Weir's memoir about her rough, impoverished childhood and her young adulthood on an apple farm makes for mesmerizing reading. She refrains from falling into tired cliches (she is an accomplished author, although this is
Candida Pugh
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Orchard perhaps attempts too much--covering the rocky beginnings of an impetuous marriage through the horrors of corporate and individual farming with killer chemicals. Because of her ambition to write an ecological broadside, Weir perhaps shorts the intriguing story of a young woman who would enter into such an improbable alliance and stick with it through what looks to be a horror show. I found the final blast at her villain of a mother-in-law unsatisfactory, after a lifetime of misery tha ...more
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book read almost like a fictionalized memoir. Of course, I know that there were character composites, but it also speaks to the kind of life this woman had lived.

I could definitely feel the disconnect that was there at certain points that enabled her to go back into it and get it to paper.

I felt a personal connection because when I lived in Sampson County, surrounded by cotton and tobacco fields, I know EXACTLY the smells and the thoughts that lived in my head about the impact on the natu
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was pretty ambivalent about this until I realised that it read to me like a piece of tightly woven fiction, which can be hard to come by in memoir. Several things going on here, all overlapping and influencing one another: Weir's young marriage and learning to be part of a unit (the part with the lesser say, not incidentally); the family she married into, which was (to say the least) not welcoming; the family's orchard (its pride and joy, second to none); Weir's difficult, broken childhood (an ...more
Kayne Spooner
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a hard book to put down. Its an autobiographic story about a young couple living on his family's apple farm. One side of the story has you enjoying their beautiful walks on the farm and what they see, smell and hear then the other side shows the problems with the chemical spraying to save the apples from the dreaded codling moth. They struggle with his family's disapproval of their marriage. There is a section when she bakes a beautiful apple pie that had my taste buds salivating but I ...more
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
Weir's memoir is often a sad and frightening story, but a heartfelt love story with happy times as well. Her strong character takes her through a difficult childhood with a wild mother, a challenging marriage with a man she loves, life on a "cursed" farm with horrid in-laws and living in an atmosphere of breathing harmful chemicals.

Definitely a book with an important message especially with recent news informing consumers that just rinsing fruit, particularly apples, is not enough. (use a veggie
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Theresa Weir (a.k.a. Anne Frasier) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-six books and numerous short stories that have spanned the genres of suspense, mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, paranormal, fantasy, and memoir. During her award-winning career, she's written for Penguin Putnam, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins Publishers, Bantam Books/Random House, Silhouette Boo ...more

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