By Amanda Coplin
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062188519, 448pp.)
Publication Date: March 2013
List Price: $15.99*
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A Best Book of the Year
Washington Post - Seattle Times - The Oregonian - National Public Radio - Amazon - Kirkus Reviews - Publishers Weekly - The Daily Beast
An Indie Next Pick
Barnes & Noble Discover Award Winner
At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he's found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit at the market; they later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase.
Feral, scared, and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadge's land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion. Just as the girls begin to trust him, men arrive in the orchard with guns, and the shattering tragedy that follows will set Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect them but also to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.
Transcribing America as it once was before railways and roads connected its corners, Amanda Coplin weaves a tapestry of solitary souls who come together in the wake of unspeakable cruelty and misfortune. She writes with breathtaking precision and empathy, and in The Orchardist she crafts an astonishing debut novel about a man who disrupts the lonely harmony of an ordered life when he opens his heart and lets the world in.
- How would you describe William Talmadge, the title character of The Orchardist? What adjective best describes his character? What are the factors that have shaped the man he is?