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The Orchard House

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Concord, Massachusetts

Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott's historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it fe
Kindle Edition
Published February 9th 2021 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (first published February 2021)
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Average rating 4.53  · 
Rating details
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Deanne Patterson
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Deanne by:
I really enjoy reading time-split novels and discovering how the connection is made between the time periods. While this one is mostly focused on modern times and Taylor's story I did make a connection with Taylor. She gets a chance to be a part of her best friend, Victoria Bennett's family and she dare not mess it up. The women spend much time together as best friends and as aspiring author's take summer classes at Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. Pushing aside her insecurity Taylor is starti ...more
Heidi Chiavaroli is one of my go-to authors for writing style, storytelling talent, and historical bent. I always enjoy how she incorporates the past into modern day stories.

In this dual timeline novel, Louisa May Alcott and her masterpiece, Little Women, figure large in both past & present plot lines. Unlike the March girls, the modern day characters--who are not quite sisters--find no forgiveness after they judge themselves against each other and compete with each other. They only tear their
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Are you a fan of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott? If you are, then you will want to read The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli.

The Orchard House is a split time novel. For part of the book, the reader learns about Taylor and Victoria Bennett. Taylor is adopted by the Bennett family and struggles to fit in. Both girls want to be a writer and attend summer classes at The Orchard House. The girls grow up writing and struggling with teenage issues together. Then when Taylor feels like she is just
Susie Finkbeiner
I had the privilege of reading this book for endorsement. It is gorgeous! Full review to come.
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2021
Beautiful blending of two story lines with the foundation of Louisa May Alcott's life at the core.

Taylor was adopted by her best friend's family in 2001 which allowed her to escape the foster care system. Taylor has difficulty finding her place and value in her new family. Adoption occurred at age 13 in the year 2001. As a young adult, Taylor cuts all ties from her family. The bulk of the present day story line occurs in 2019 when Taylor returns home to Concord, Massachusetts.

Johanna Suhre becam
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was not prepared for what an emotional read this turned out to be. I felt serious melancholic vibes throughout. Sniffle. I'm glad I listened to the audible version because I got to ugly cry right through the sad parts (and there are many!) My heart still feels bruised. Hiccup-y sigh...sometimes a reader just needs a good story to wallow in and The Orchard House fits that bill perfectly.

Achingly beautiful and heartrending. Exquisitely written -- the historical details had my childish Louisa Ma
The Orchard House is another shining example of how Heidi Chiavaroli excels at split-time narratives. Some books make you stop and catch your breath with the emotional punch they pack. This book was like that for me - compelling and hard to put down. It's always a journey for the reader to see how the modern day storyline connects with the historical one.

When I realized that Louisa May Alcott would be featured in this novel, I was pumped. Alcott is special to our modern day character, Taylor, an
Heidi Chiavaroli
Feb 01, 2021 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm beyond pleased to introduce my newest release to you! I'm so excited about this one, my fellow readers, and sincerely hope you enjoy the story within these pages.

Taken from the Historical Note in the back of The Orchard House:

It’s been more than 150 years since the publication of Little Women, and yet our culture continues to be fascinated by this seemingly simple domestic tale. In many ways, its message is revolutionary. And in many ways, it is as old as time, calling each of us to our own
Liz Tolsma
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Of course, anything having to do with Louisa May Alcott and Little Women, I'm going to love. And then throw in Heidi Chiavaroli as the author, and it's a sure winner. I wasn't disappointed at all. Loved it. The characters are so well drawn. I felt like I was in Concord. I felt like I was living this story. And the dual timelines merged together so beautifully. Yes, I even cried at the end. It was a fabulous book. ...more
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
With deep realism and authenticity, award winning author Heidi Chiavaroli takes readers to the post-Civil War era in Massachusetts in her latest novel, The Orchard House. This time-slip novel follows the historical storyline of Johanna Suhre, who is taking care of Louisa May Alcott’s parents in their home, and the present-day storyline of thirty-seven-year-old Taylor Bennett, who struggled for years to fit in and suffered heartbreaking betrayal from her adoptive family. Readers also are given fu ...more
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I found in the pages of The Orchard House a story i didn’t even know I needed to hear.
This amazing story, one that started out a bit slowly for me at first, has a tremendous lesson, and it spoke to something deep within me.
Taylor was adopted as a young teen, by her best friend’s family. But she was never sure she truly belonged. She spent many years in doubt, and even left behind her family because of those fears of not truly belonging. She was very much a character I could identify with. Becau
Erin Laramore
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Heidi Chiavaroli delivers another dual timeline that broaches the tough topics with grace and offers hope in the darkness. This book takes place in Concord, MA, around the home where Louisa May Alcott lived. Though I have not read Little Women (I know, I know....) or any other of Alcott's works, I was still able to enjoy the story - though fans of Alcott would likely enjoy it even more. This book follows Taylor who was adopted by her best friend's family at age 13, but ran away 8 years later aft ...more
Darlene Wilson
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Heidi Chiavaroli once again comes through with a compelling, heart-wrenching story of two women facing the same struggles. In her latest time-slip novel, The Orchard House, both the historic character Johanna, and the contemporary character Taylor, struggle with self-worth, belonging, betrayal, and love.
The writing is again excellent. I came to tears over Louisa’s descriptions of John and felt the world suffered greatly to lose such a man. I loved Will, then hated him and Victoria, then felt for
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I don't know too many voracious readers that didn't start out as a child devouring 'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott, as well as many of her other classics! Ms. Alcott has always been an enigma to most of us and I respectfully disagree with some who stated they wanted to read more of her story in this dual timeline, correlating the past with the present. I feel as though the author still wanted to leave an aura of mystery surrounding Louisa, but through her extensive research of her published ...more
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I find it hard to put into words experiencing this book. I savored it. I enjoyed it. I wanted more of it.
I have never read a book that it is really like. It addressed a hard topic without almost really describing the topic at hand. A beloved author to many, Louisa May Alcott is the heroine in many ways, of this novel, even though she is not one of the main characters.
I loved the history, the tidbits with the characters being writers, as well as the heartache that was shared by the characters a
Jeanne Alfveby Crea
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
What a sweeping literary dual-timeline story encompassing Louisa May Alcott, her family, and her friend Joanna in 1865, and best friends Taylor & Victoria attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott's home The Orchard House in 2001, to the present day in 2019. Themes of adoption, belonging, independence, and the difficult topics of betrayal and spousal abuse are dealt with very realistically. The importance of family vs independence, trusting no one but yourself vs trusting in God are im
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I really connected with Taylor and Johanna. I loved how this book made me feel deeply. There’s also something special about books that are about authors. Heidi Chiavaroli has proven again why she’s a must read author! I highly recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli was an emotional read. This is not a light hearted escape, this story will suck you in and rip out your heart and try to put it back together.

The story takes part in three different time periods. Taylor as a teen to college and then current day as an adult with a thriving career. In addition, we have the story of Louisa and Johanna.

Taylor was a girl trying to fit in after her family abandons her. Even when her best friend’s family adopts her, she struggles
Emily P
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I can't tell you when the last time I finished a book and was desperate for there to be more! Chiavaroli has added to the wonderful legacy of Louisa May Alcott with this stunning time slip book. I spent quite a few late nights gobbling up this story of heartache, second chances and the redemption of life's hurts.

Taylor is a woman faced with the loss of a relationship with the man she thought was "the One" as well as the loss of connection with a family who took her in, the Bennetts. Taylor has
Becca-Rae Weidel
Once again Heidi Chiavaroli has proven herself as to why she is on my must-read favorite authors list. Not only that, but this one has weaseled its way  up to becoming my new favorite of hers.

For those who love story--whether that's through reading, writing, or both--you will GET this book, with no explanations necessary. There's a reason why books are referred to as authors' "book babies". Whether the stories are fictional or not, there is always a piece of the writer found within the pages. Wr
Joanna Bair
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love Little Women, having been named after Jo Bhaer in the book since my last name is Bair. Anyhow I was so thrilled to get an arc of this.
I grew up traveling to Boston every year, visiting friends in Concord, walking Walden Pond, and going to Orchard House. Then attending college in Boston so this book brought back so many fond memories. I felt like I could picture everything the author described so perfectly and was surprised how her writing brought back such vivid memories. I alm
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge Louisa May Alcott fan, and I have loved all of Heidi Chiavaroli's previous novels, so I have been eagerly waiting for this novel to be published. I was not disappointed! This was one of those stories that I couldn't stop reading but hated for it to end. I love timeslip novels, and Heidi Chiavaroli always does such a wonderful job of drawing me into both the contemporary and historical timelines and makes me care about the characters in both. In both time periods, she addresses the is ...more
Leslie M.
Dec 07, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I love split-time novels, and I've read and enjoyed the author's prior books. I was excited to read her latest.

As I've come to expect from Chiavaroli, she intertwines the two stories into a tale with themes of love, friendship, trials, acceptance, forgiveness, and family. The author crafts characters which are realistic, strong characters searching for their purpose in life. Past and present events are intricately woven together.

I really enjoyed the details on Louisa May Alcott. I'd e
Kelly Bridgewater
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott when I was a little teenager. I loved the character of Jo. I scribbled all the time. I had tons of stories in notebooks. Nothing worthwhile to publish, but writing was my outlet. So when Heidi Chiavaroli wrote The Orchard House, a story that takes place at the Alcott’s home, I honestly could not wait to read the story. The story is unique, yet predictable. I adored the struggles that Victoria and Taylor, the modern day characters had to struggle with ...more
Feb 26, 2021 rated it liked it
As a younger child, Taylor is abandoned by her biological family. She has one connection to hold on to: a copy of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women." When she is taken is by her best friend Victoria's family, Taylor wants nothing more to belong. But she is afraid of trusting, certain that she will never be enough.

The girls attend writing camp at Louisa May Alcott's home, Orchard House, now preserved as a museum, and bond over their aspirations to be writers. Just as Taylor believes she has foun
This is a split-time novel, one set during 1865 while the other is set in 2019. The historical piece tells the story of a young woman who takes care of Orchard House while Louisa May Alcott is traveling the world. She falls in love with a young man and marries him, something she later on comes to regret.
The contemporary story is about a woman who grew up as the adopted sister to her best friend, the best friend who betrayed her. She runs away from her life in Concord, determined to never go back
Kristi Drillien
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, christian
(3.5 / 5)

After a difficult childhood, Taylor is adopted by her best friend's parents. But sisterhood is not all it's cracked up to be, and Taylor ends up leaving home at 21 with the determination to never see her family again. However, when informed 18 years later that her adopted mother is going through treatment for cancer, she returns home. But what starts as a brief visit turns into something more as old wounds are re-opened and this make-shift family struggles to make sense of present strug
Kelly Goshorn
As a fan of Little Women, Heidi Chiavaroli’s other books, as well as ALL things historical, I could not wait to get my giddy little hands on this book! That being said, I was truly captivated by the present-day story of two sisters reunited after sixteen years and how their relationship was healed through a shared love of words. Especially those penned in 150 years old poems by a friend of Louisa May Alcott.
I won’t rehash the plot here, but I will say that the characters in The Orchard House we
Jessica Higgins
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Two great stories that crossover in ways you won’t expect!

Taylor has had a rough go at life. Abandoned by her mother at a young age and left with her uncle. The uncle ends up going to prison and Taylor is placed in the foster care system. Then in 1995, she is adopted by her best friend’s parents and she now has not only a sister, but a family. Even so, she still feels like she is outside of their love and is more of a hindrance than a gift. But she and her new sister, Victoria, share a common in
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a couple of books by Heidi Chiavaroli and I have enjoyed them immensely. The Orchard House is no exception to this tradition. Heidi tackles some hard issues, like spousal abuse, PTSD, abandonment, and even a touch on suicide in this novel that details parts of Louisa May Alcott's life, as well as in the lives of the modern characters. Heidi does a great job telling a story within a story to make a cohesive whole.

Taylor's mom leaves her with her Uncle Bob and never comes back. When U
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Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring places that whisper of historical secrets. She is an ACFW Carol Award winner and a Christy finalist. Both her debut novel, "Freedom's Ring" and her sophomore novel, "The Hidden Side" are Romantic Times Top Picks. "Freedom's Ring" was also a BOOKLIST Top Ten Romance Debut. She makes her home in Massachusetts wit ...more

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