Amy's Reviews > The Orchardist

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
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's review
Sep 10, 2012

it was amazing

Some books live on in the hearts of readers because they tell a great story, others because the language is eloquent; others for the realistic characters which inhabit them, and still others for their ability to capture a place and time. It is a rare novel that meets all of these requirements, and when one is discovered it is to be cherished. Amanda Coplin’s novel the Orchardist is one of the rare and wonderful novels. Set at the turn of the 20th century in a rural section of Washington State the novel relates the story of the orchardist, William Talmadge, now entering middle age, has lived a difficult and solitary life on his orchard until one day when two pregnant teenagers appear on his land. While they are somewhat feral and will not speak to Talmadge, are definitely stealing from him, and are most likely in some sort of trouble, yet they are still very young and in need of help and so Talmadge feels compelled to assist them in any way he can. He does not know the many ways his life will be changed by this act of kindness. As the girls begin to feel at home in the orchard their horrific past appears in the form of a man named Michaelson, who has been hunting the girls, who are forced into actions that will have long lasting ramifications for everyone. Full of plot twists, readers will find it impossible to put this novel aside. Coplin displays tremendous talent in her ability to allow the story to unfold with an amazing amount of tension and yet to deliver precise and poetic prose, creating a very literary page turner. Coplin also shows great insight into the nuances of human nature, as the dynamics of family, both those we are related to by blood, and those that we chose to make our families. Powerful, thought, provoking and emotionally moving, The Orchardist is an outstanding novel that deserves wide readership.
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