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Beyond the Orchard

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  480 ratings  ·  126 reviews
A haunting story of yearning, love and betrayal from the bestselling author of Thornwood House

Lucy Briar has arrived home in turmoil after years overseas. She’s met her fiancé in London and has her life mapped out, but something is holding her back.

Hoping to ground herself and find answers, Lucy settles into once familiar routines. But old tortured feelings flood Lucy’s ex
Paperback, 464 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Simon & Schuster
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  480 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Veronica ⭐️
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beyond the Orchard is a sweeping saga of dark secrets, shameful lies, forgotten letters, undying love and devastating despair. Romer’s writing is rich and lyrical, her characters compelling.

I love stories told in dual timelines each linking up as the mysteries unfold. Romer’s execution is perfect; never giving away too little or too much, holding the reader captive until the very end.
The subtle introduction of the aboriginal teens was well implemented and Orah’s love for Warra felt real and not
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books
Australian gothic fiction is author Anna Romer’s speciality and in her third book, Beyond the Orchard, Romer refines her craft in this genre. Beyond the Orchard is not just an example of superb Australian gothic fiction, it is a tale of romance, family mysteries and the gentle revelation of long held secrets. Romer’s talent in successfully intertwining different historical eras in her novels, extends to her latest book.

In her third novel, Romer focuses in on a story involving a young woman named

When Lucy Briar received the letter from her grandfather she knew she needed to return home to find answers. Alex, her fiancé remained in London and when Lucy saw how happy her father was on her return, she was sorry it had been five years since she’d been home. Melbourne was where her heart was; it was where she’d grown up and where her friends were. But the event of five years previously which had caused her to flee to London hadn’t been resolved…

The sudden shock of her grandfather’s pass
Beyond the Orchard started well and engaged my interest early. The premise of the story is good: grandfather requests grand-daughter to come home from UK to coastal Victoria, with promise to reveal something "that will explain everything". Granddad lives alone in a derelict mansion on a remote wind-swept section of the coast - very Wuthering Heights I thought. Family is riddled with lies, secrets and mysteries, making for some highly dysfunctional individuals. Grand-daughter has secret lust for ...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Oct 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Kate Morton.
Beyond the Orchard is an historical novel with dual time frames, a crumbling estate called Bitterwood (great name right?) and family secrets of love, grief and guilt to discover.

Distinctly Australian, I loved the early references to places in Melbourne I instantly recognised, including: Dandenong Road, Elsternwick, Prahran, Geelong and the Great Ocean Road. It certainly gave me a buzz to see Lucy visit these familiar places.

However what hampered my enjoyment further was the sheer number of chara
Theresa Smith
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2016
Beyond the Orchard captivated me right from its opening scene. A shroud of mystery hangs heavy throughout this novel, but Anna Romer skillfully parcels out what you need to know at perfect intervals. With a storyline that features multiple characters in several different eras, this novel is a world unto its own. A moody ancient house with secret crevices and hidden truths; stormy nights and angst aplenty. Key ingredients for an absorbing read.

You can't help but be gripped with a feeling of dread
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
3 1/2 stars A slow burn....

My View:
Anna Romer is a great story teller – I love the way she is able to transport me back in time to a landscape and way of life that has long since disappeared. The best passages in this book I think are the descriptions relating to the early 1930’s. Romer captures the harsh landscapes, the shipwreck, the rescue, the unique friendships and the social mores with pictorial honesty. I feel like I am looking down the lens of a camera when I read these chapters - the p
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow. What an amazingly rich and mesmerizing novel, I was hooked right from the start. The story unfolds through two different time frames and two different narrators, the shift in time and is seamless and adds a richness to the unfolding drama that is hard to resist. This is a book about family, promises, secrets and the power of love. I can not recommend this book highly enough. I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh so many secrets! Secrets & lies & heartbreak. How much can one family endure?

Another intriguing story from one of my favorite Australian authors. Any book that can keep you up late into the night & desperate to get back to when you do have to put it down for a while is worth every penny. Any book that has you crying your heart out & bereft is worth its weight in gold.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely beautiful read

It's 1993 and Lucy has returned to Melbourne after living in London for the past 5 years. She ran away from her attraction to older family friend Morgan and now she's back in Melbourne for family reasons. Her father is a successful novelist who rewrites fairy tales and she illustrates his books and it is he that requests that she go to the old family home called 'Bitterwood', where her Grandfather has recently passed away to try and find an old photo album.

But there are secrets at 'Bitterwood'
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
In 2013 Anna Romer released her much-lauded debut novel Thornwood House. I completely missed that, but around this time in 2014 I read and reviewed Anna Romer's second book, Lyrebird Hill, a quintessentially Australian novel unfolding in two timeframes. In that review I commented on my usual reticence to read historical fiction, but found myself intrigued by the secrets, lies and family drama being unearthed.

Romer's topped that with her latest novel, Beyond the Orchard. It's a book that took me
Kate Forsyth
A story that moves between the past and the present, with intrigue, passion, betrayal and the metafictive use of a dark fairy-tale – it’ll be no surprise to anyone that I loved Beyond the Orchard, the first novel of Anna Romer’s that I have read.

I loved the name of the heroine – ‘Lucy Briar’ – and the name of the house – ‘Bitterwood’. Names are always very important to me, and I love it when an author takes care in crafting their names. I also loved the setting – an old house set on cliffs with
Sarah Ruthven
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well the lovely Anna has done it again, another classic Australian story of love, despair, and hope. If you don’t live in Australia then reading one of Anna’s novels really does give you a feel for the Australian landscape, it’s native creatures and flora and fauna. I always learn something new and interesting in Anna’s books and this time it was the fascinating story of silk worms.
I was hooked from the first page and I love nothing more than getting wrapped up in secrets and stories of the pas
I enjoyed this, although I listened as an audiobook, and all the different time frames became a bit confusing, especially in the beginning. It might have been easier if I’d been reading as an ordinary book and could flip back to check the dates.

I felt one of the characters was inconsistent, in some respects - which was probably done in order to make us feel a certain way about the character, and then, with more information, we’re led to feel a different way, but it seemed a bit clumsy, to my wa
Jane Hansen
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beyond the Orchard by Anna Romer
Published November 1 2016 – Cammeray, NSW

This story follows Lucy Briar who has returned to Australia after a self-imposed exile to London for several years. She is happily engaged or so she says, but the past has been creeping back and now she must face it before she can move on. With her father taken ill it falls to Lucy to unravel the mysteries of the Briar family past and to face the ghosts of the family estate Bitterwood Park.
“Orah shut her eyes. She co
Why is there not more of a buzz about this book? Why is Anna Romer not being lauded as the Next Big Thing by the Australian writing community? Because even though this is Romer’s third book, I can’t say I was familiar with her name and I readily admit to choosing this book because of the pretty cover. What a surprisingly enjoyable read Beyond the Orchard turned out to be, however, and I plan on seeking out Romer’s other two novels.

Leaving her fiance behind in London our heroine, Lucy, returns to
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘If you could have anything at all, what would it be?’

Lucy Briar returns home to Melbourne, Australia after receiving a letter from her grandfather, Edwin. Lucy’s made a life in London, has a fiancé (Adam) there, but has unfinished business in Australia. And, very quickly after Lucy lands in Melbourne, her life becomes complicated.

‘I realised that the past was never completely gone.’

There are two stories in this novel: Lucy’s story and a story from the 1930s set in her grandfather’s home, Bitter
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beyond the Orchard is a beautifully written book alternating between the past (30’s) where secrets and lies were buried deep all in the name of love and the present (90’s) where love begins to slowly blossom and the secrets are uncovered. An enjoyable read. Beyond the Orchard is my first Anna Romer book and it won’t be my last.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster (Australia) and NetGalley for allowing me to read this e-book for an honest opinion.
Brittney Holmes
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the most beautiful story I have ever read! I think it's Anna Romer's best yet!
Lady Delacour
Three interwoven
stories in one.
Listened with TTS
Mild Biblical Words.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. I love all Anna Romer's books, I love family history mysteries, and this is a great one. Orah's story was super interesting. I would have given it 5 stars, but I wasn't completely sold on the Lucy/Morgan relationship.
Sam Still Reading
Oct 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Kate Morton, Sarah Waters
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: from the publisher
I am an absolute sucker for novels that combine the past and present – even better if there’s a crumbling old house, a multigenerational family mystery and some skeletons in the closet. Anna Romer’s new novel, Beyond the Orchard ticks all of those boxes for me. After a slow start, I was rewarded for my perseverance with a rollicking mystery.

The book opens in Melbourne in the early 1990s. Lucy has returned home to think some things through. She’s engaged to a great man and her work life as an ill
Review at: http://greatreadsandtealeaves.blogspo...

This is Anna Romer’s third book and I couldn’t wait to read it. I am happy to say that the high standard she set from the very beginning of her literary career has continued. What an amazing author she is proving to be, with this instalment cementing her in the upper echelon of Australian writers.

“Drinking in the night air, he blinked to clear his eyes, clutching her to him, wishing he could turn back time, wishing . . . but no; he would not le
Rowena Holloway
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Anna Romer’s third novel is another engrossing gothic tale of love and family and the secrets hidden within historical walls.

As with her previous two novels, Romer weaves contemporary and historical family stories, and the cloth she creates for Beyond the Orchard is complex and masterful. The use of the reimagined fairytales, written by Lucy’s father, heighten the mood and suggest insights into Briar family history (and perhaps Lucy herself). Tragedy seems as deeply embedded in this family as th
Kim (_booksarelove)
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebooks
Beyond the Orchard is the first novel that I have read by the author Anna Romer. She is an Australian author (makes her a winner by default) and this book is mostly set in the city of Melbourne.

I am going to start off this review with one word, WOW. This book had me hooked pretty much from the beginning and didn't let me go right until the end! I couldn't put it down! I enjoyed every minute of it.

Beyond the Orchard was told from the point of view of Lucy Briar, a young woman who is lost and loo
Sharon J
Loved it. This was an excellent story with lots of intrigue and atmosphere with wonderful characters. Highly recommend this novel. I am very impressed with this Australian author and look forward to reading more of her novels.

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher Simon and Schuster (Australia) for an ebook copy to read and review.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romer-anna
Captivating from start to finish, atmospheric and a story that takes you right to the place of the character...and some of those places I didn't want to be in! An incredible first book for me by Anna Romer and I will follow it up with the two other books I have by this author. A great read I would recommend.
I always cringe when an author is compared to Kate Morton, those are mighty fine boots to fill and to me it’s just a setup for disappointment. That being said Australian author Anna Romer did not disappoint, this is her third book and I've loved the previous two, The Thornwood House and Lyrebird Hill.

Beyond the Orchard is a dual time period book, with an Australian setting - one of my favourite places (and on my bucket list). With an old house set high on a cliff there is a mysterious ice hous
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
The blurb at the back cover read: 'A haunting tale of yearning, love and betrayal'

And Beyond the Orchard certainly is.

Lucy receives a letter from her grandfather Edwin, urging her to visit. Returning home from London, Lucy obliges. Unfortunately, before she sees her grandfather, he dies.

Ronald, her father urges her to visit the family guesthouse, Bitterwood Estate, to seek out a photo album, the item that drove Edwin and his son apart many years ago.

During her stay at the crumbling Estate, Lucy
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Anna Romer is an Australian writer. Her novels reflect her fascination with forgotten diaries and letters, dark family secrets, rambling old houses, and love in its many guises—as well as her passion for the uniquely beautiful Australian landscape.

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