The Orchardist

The Orchardist - Amanda Coplin

This debut novel from Amanda Chopin takes place at the turn of the century in the early 1900's in rural Washington state. A lone orchard farmer named Talmadge whose lived an isolated life after his sister mysteriously disappeared some years ago. He is a quiet, committed, hard worker devoting his life to his orchard.


One day two runaway sisters arrive and steal the fruit off Talmadge's trees and when he doesn't object they hesitantly begin to trust him. Once he has earned their trust he discovers they are both pregnant and they cannot go back to their previous home. This slowly begins their relationship as they decide to stay with him. The neighbor medicine woman, Talmadge's friend Caroline delivers the babies. While one baby dies in birth the other sister dies in childbirth leaving Della and her niece Angelene.


Della has a restless spirit and sets out on her own first wrangling horses and then whatever else she can find to occupy herself to keep from returning home. Eventually Talmadge sets out  to find her thinking she should be home caring for her niece. Angelene is the opposite of her aunt and is serenely grounded and very similar to Talmadge, the man who has raised her. 


While this story was mostly peacefully reflective it completely lured me to the end. This book came highly recommended and I am of the same opinion.


How this book was acquired: Bought brand new from Barnes & Noble on Aunt Erika's recommendation.