The Orchardist

The Orchardist: A Novel - Amanda Coplin

5 stars.....directly added to my 'favorites' list.


I gave this book 5 stars not because it was a feel good read, but because of the descriptive setting and characters, or as one reviewer stated "magical words". I come away from this experience knowing that it's going to be hard to choose my next read; nothing is going to touch this one! I'm thinking perhaps it's time to re-read 'Lonesome Dove', 'The Thorn Birds' or maybe James Clovell, Ken Follet, or even going back as far as 'Mistral's Daughter'....only an epic read remembered with great fondness will be able to follow this one.

The descriptive nature of this author's words just touched my heart and senses. The brutality contained within this story, the sadness, and Yes....the quiet joy. 

I agree with other's who said that the first half of this book was so gripping, it kept me riveted to the pages. The second half was slower moving, but in a way even more gripping for me.....anticipating the outcome even as I knew what it had to be in one way or another. 

I have tried to curb my habit of buying books....only because I have too many already; stored in totes and overflowing bookshelves. This is one book that I will have to add to my collection; I am already anticipating a re-read in order to catch all the nuances I missed the first time. For me the sign of 5+ stars! 


"There was a type of heat and light that was direct and overhead and bleached the orchard of color. The orchard at noon on the hottest days. And then there were mornings when the air was blue and soft, and the leaves of the trees looked like velvet." 

"Della continued to cry until she discovered that the voices on the porch were conspiring with the moon and stars through the trees, and the wind that covered it all, and those powers knew where the kitten moved in the orchard and would inform her, if she just went to sleep, of its location the first thing in the morning. All that was required of her was to sleep. And so she did. At once, suddenly, as if stepping off a cliff."

....the words as simple as:

"They walked to the cabin, shadows bounding before them. Down in the field, the men had lit fires. The horses spread to the forest, shifting and reshifting under the moonlight."
"The night air came through the cabin door and crossed the threshold of the outer room and reached the bedroom where she lay, her faced turned to it. She could see the darkness off the porch. The air was cool, with an edge of cold, even. She could hear but not see the trembling leaves." 

Caroline Middey's simple, wise advice:
"My dear, she said. There is one thing I want to tell you, and I hope you carry it with you to the end of your days."
"No matter how bad you feel, said Caroline Middey, glancing at the girl now, or how bad you think your situation is, there is always somebody else who is feeling worse than you are, who is in worse shape. And so you should never, ever complain. Never." 

"The stars so thick and close you could walk right into them. Those times she thought that if she could just remember the stars, she would be all right. Things might get very bad, things might be worse than she ever imagined, but the stars existed, and that was something." 

And so this book; beautifully descriptive words.