By Theresa Weir
Grand Central Publishing, Paperback, 9780446584685, 238pp.
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
THE ORCHARD is the story of a street-smart city girl who must adapt to a new life on an apple farm after she falls in love with Adrian Curtis, the golden boy of a prominent local family whose lives and orchards seem to be cursed. Married after only three months, young Theresa finds life with Adrian on the farm far more difficult and dangerous than she expected. Rejected by her husband's family as an outsider, she slowly learns for herself about the isolated world of farming, pesticides, environmental destruction, and death, even as she falls more deeply in love with her husband, a man she at first hardly knew and the land that has been in his family for generations. She becomes a reluctant player in their attempt to keep the codling moth from destroying the orchard, but she and Adrian eventually come to know that their efforts will not only fail but will ultimately take an irreparable toll.
A hypnotic tale of place, people, and of Midwestern family roots that run deep, stubbornly hidden, and equally menacing-THE ORCHARD is sublime and enchanting, like a reflecting pool, touch the surface and watch the ripples carry you away.
--Jamie Ford, NYT bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
The Orchard is a lovely book in all the ways that really matter, one of those rare and wonderful memoirs in which people you've never met become your friends. I read it in a single sitting, lost in the story, and by the time I put it down, I was amazed by Weir's ability to evoke such genuine emotion. Read it: you'll be glad you did.
"...Searing...the past is artfully juxtaposed with the present in this finely wrought work. Its haunting passages will linger long after the last page is turned."
-The Boston Globe (Pick of the Week)
"This memoir is viscera encapsulated, of young, passionate love and shattering tragedy around the corner, of a horrible childhood redeemed by motherhood and literary output in secret, of not fitting in until you make everything fit you."
-Publishers Lunch (one of the Favorite Books of 2011)
"Extraordinarily moving memoir...Weir proffers a worldview that is at once eloquent, sincere, and searing."
-Library Journal (one of the Librarians' Best Books of 2011)
"Weir knows how to move a story along, and her memoir is a page turner..."
-The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Equal parts moving love story and environmental warning."
-Entertainment Weekly (B+)
"Few books have made the case for shopping organic as eloquently...Her story is a thought-provoking argument against the pesticides used to grow food, but more than that, it's the story of the growth of an unlikely union. 'Love doesn't happen overnight,' Weir writes, and when she concludes the story of her marriage, she leaves readers marveling at the complexities of love."
-Wisconsin State Journal
"A finely wrought story...[Weir's] journey, at times lonely and sad, is ultimately triumphant. Readers will be glad Weir found a home for this brave book..."