The Orchardist

The Orchardist

The Orchardist Set in the untamed American West a highly original and haunting debut novel about a makeshift family whose dramatic lives are shaped by violence love and an indelible connection to the land You bel

  • Title: The Orchardist
  • Author: Amanda Coplin
  • ISBN: 9780062206770
  • Page: 476
  • Format: Paperback
  • Set in the untamed American West, a highly original and haunting debut novel about a makeshift family whose dramatic lives are shaped by violence, love, and an indelible connection to the land.You belong to the earth, and the earth is hard.At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, a solitarySet in the untamed American West, a highly original and haunting debut novel about a makeshift family whose dramatic lives are shaped by violence, love, and an indelible connection to the land.You belong to the earth, and the earth is hard.At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, a solitary orchardist named Talmadge carefully tends the grove of fruit trees he has cultivated for nearly half a century A gentle, solitary man, he finds solace and purpose in the sweetness of the apples, apricots, and plums he grows, and in the quiet, beating heart of the land the valley of yellow grass bordering a deep canyon that has been his home since he was nine years old Everything he is and has known is tied to this patch of earth It is where his widowed mother is buried, taken by illness when he was just thirteen, and where his only companion, his beloved teenaged sister Elsbeth, mysteriously disappeared It is where the horse wranglers native men, mostly Nez Perce pass through each spring with their wild herds, setting up camp in the flowering meadows between the trees.One day, while in town to sell his fruit at the market, two girls, barefoot and dirty, steal some apples Later, they appear on his homestead, cautious yet curious about the man who gave them no chase Feral, scared, and very pregnant, Jane and her sister Della take up on Talmadage s land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion Yet just as the girls begin to trust him, brutal men with guns arrive in the orchard, and the shattering tragedy that follows sets Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect them, putting himself between the girls and the world, but to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.Writing with breathtaking precision and empathy, Amanda Coplin has crafted 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 Transcribing America as it once was before railways and roads connected its corners, she weaves a tapestry of solitary souls who come together in the wake of unspeakable cruelty and misfortune, bound by their search to discover the place they belong At once intimate and epic, evocative and atmospheric, filled with haunting characters both vivid and true to life, and told in a distinctive narrative voice, The Orchardist marks the beginning of a stellar literary career.The National Book Foundation selected Amanda Coplin as one of the authors being honored as 5 Under 35 in 2013.

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      Published :2020-03-14T15:24:58+00:00

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    Let’s state it up front. This is a GREAT book. Not a pretty good book with some nice qualities, but a powerful, beautiful, thoughtful and incredibly moving work of art that will be read for generations. The Orchardist is even more incredible for being a first novel, the best first I have read since Edgar Sawtelle. Yes, that good.Talmadge had lived forty years in the orchard without any exceptional event happening to him, barring inclement weather or some horticultural phenomenon. Nothing to sp [...]

    SPOILER ALERT - This was a slow, luxurious read for the first 200 pages. I was steeped in the landscape, the time period, the characters and enough of a plot to keep me turning the pages. The writing was deceptively simple at times, almost staccato in rhythm, yet highly evocative and well-matched to the rural setting of the book. I was captivated by Coplin's beautiful prose and her instinct to reveal just enough about her characters but never too much inner detail, as if seen through a veil. How [...]

    It is a rare read that cuts through the surface noise of daily life and becomes the one sound you can hear clearly, like a church bell on a still winter morning. It commands your full attention and you willingly shut out the world and surrender to the power of its images, characters and the force of its story. Amanda Coplin’s debut novel, The Orchardist, is one such book. Set in the early years of the 20th century in the golden valleys and granite hills of Chelan county in north-central Washin [...]

    I loved absolutely everything about this book: the cover, the setting, the prose and the characters. That this is a first novel is staggering. Talmadge has lived alone for forty years, after the death of his mother and the disappearance of his sister, tending his orchards and giving a free pass to the wranglers and Indians that come onto his land with wild horses. His characters is stoic, strong, he is someone who always tries to do the right thing and he is someone I would love to meet in real [...]

    The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin marks the debut of a talented new American writer. But midway through the novel I paused and asked myself, why am I reading this? Is it believable? Coplin’s spare, post-modern prose was controlled and the voice unique. The setting—the dry eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains at the turn of the 20th Century—was also unique and evocatively rendered. The characters possessed a timeless, mythic quality as if carved from stone, and the story itself, as one boo [...]

    Random notes:-- A blended family in which marriages never played any roles;-- Lonely, orphaned people who landed up taking care of each other;-- Good people being treated badly; bad people being treated good;-- The sadness of time sweeping over history and destroying evidence of lives lived and loved;-- Plum conserve with walnuts and raisins for the long winter days;-- Apples, pears, walnuts, apricots, vegetables and horses;-- An ode to loneliness in the richest tones imaginable. -- A story abou [...]

    The Orchardist is beautifully written and stunning debut novel by Amanda Coplin. I was really impressed with this book. It isn’t a fast paced novel by any means; it is more character-based than plot-based but the characters and sense of place are so exquisitely written that I did not want this book to finish.Set at the turn of the century in a rural stretch of Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist by the name of William Talmadge tends to apples and apricots. A gentle man who spends his tim [...]

    This is a gorgeous book…powerful, moving and beautifully written with a spare, eloquent writing style similar to Kent Haruf, one of my favorite authors. The story takes place in Washington State at the beginning of the 20th century…yet in tone, it reminded me so much of Haruf’s novel, Plainsong, which was also lean and lyrical. Talmadge, a quiet, compassionate and solitary man attempts to befriend two feral and pregnant runaway girls, Della and Jane, who were orphaned very young and shaped [...]

    I loved the balance between reflection and emotional engagement in this tale. The sense of connection between working the land and creation of a bridge to save the human heart. It makes me hold a fancy word on my tongue—‘luminous’. It appears apt for how the universal shines through the particular in the book’s clear prose, how the natural world is cast in a clear light, banishing the dark shadows of life to a compost of the soil.This is the story of Talmadge, an unmarried orchardist in [...]

    In The Orchardist a lot is said by not being said. I was struck by the silent, intuitive communication by the protagonists. It started with Talmadge’s childhood friend Clee: ”It did not seem to matter, then, that Clee could not—or did not—speak. There was no deficit in their relationship, no lack.” Talmadge finds himself alone in the world after (view spoiler)[ his sister’s disappearance. (hide spoiler)] Alone in the silence of his vast orchard, until the arrival of Jane and Della, t [...]

    We do not belong to ourselves aloneThis is a beautiful, evocative novel. The writing is slow and eloquent. The orchardist is in many ways reminiscent of three of my best-loved books - Blessings, The Poisonwood Bible and The Snow Child. In all of these stories there's a marked focus on the land. So much so that the landscape almost becomes one of the characters.The author is also more concerned with the emotions behind an action or choice, than the action or choice itself. Her descriptions of fee [...]

    I will never forget Talmadge, he of the giant heart, nor his orchard in Washington those long ago days, or the wild horses, or the sturdy generosity of Caroline Widdey, Clee, the Judge. Della's story almost made me stop several times and not return. And I wonder how Angeline carved out the rest of her life. I'm very glad I read this beautiful, tragic, hopeful novel written in some of the most tangible descriptive language ever to speak to all of my senses. Coplin's prose is so dense and richly m [...]

    ** January 16, 2018 -- I re-read this book for our book club and am reminded why, more than 5 years ago, upon my first read, this book became one of my all-time favorites. I have nothing to add to my original review below, as the book still gets to me. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.**This is a literary debut unlike any I’ve read – not ‘easy’ by any means, with lengthy, often poetic sentences broken up by lots of dashes and nary a quotation mark for dialogue. But it works – and oh doe [...]

    I won this book from first reads. Why do people read books? I don't know about you but I read to either escape to someplace or time different from my own or to learn something. For most people I know this why they read.Then why do I keep coming across books with such disturbing themes? Why on earth did the author think anyone would enjoy reading about fictional child prostitution? A man drugged out on opium offered a very young child to an old man. Completely disturbing. I don't even want to re [...]

    Amanda Coplin sets THE ORCHARDIST in central Washington, the region in which she spent her youth. Her knowledge of its history, geography, architecture, and especially its people, draws us into the beauty and ugliness of life in the Wenatchee area around the turn of the 20th century. William Talmadge is a man of quiet tenacity. He has lived alone for forty years, nurturing his fruit trees and living by the simple rhythm of the seasons. His orchards are his anchor, and he needs little else but th [...]

    I'm not a patient enough person to have liked this period book after its midpoint as well as it seems most others have. It is beautifully written, really, but its plodding pace ground me down after the first excellent half. The characters didn't grow or appear to learn much from their errors, so that last bolus of chapters - where I had high hopes for some type of resolution - just deflated for me. The atmosphere is one of sadness; the kind that Sisyphus-like stories can engender. When in novels [...]

    I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited to go hear to the author speak tonight in our area. I have tons of questions I'd ask her if possible, (I wish tonight were a 'book-discussion' rather than a book 'intro' >>> for selfish reasons of course (having read it) I was swept away reading "The Orchardist". I'm actually a little in 'aw'. (First book? Amazing!!!) Master storytelling!!!! Master Writing. (I love the 'clean' writing style of Amanda Coplin). Even the page at the end of the sto [...]

    I have been thinking a lot about this book since I finished it, waiting to write about it. It is quite extraordinary. The beginning in particular for me was totally mesmerizing. I could have stayed forever suspended in time in the orchard, sleeping on my side in the long grass in the sun among the apple and apricot trees. I don't think I've read in a long time a writer who captures, and holds, time like this. The whole book is drenched in it, but particularly the beginning of the book, when we a [...]

    George R.R. Martin — 'A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.'I don't know if any of you have seen the German movie, Sonata for a Good Man, but The Orchardist is the story of one such person. A very very good man. Prepare to live in another life and reality that is set back in time about 150 years where life is harsh and survival is a day to day thing. Get ready for hardship, loss of family, sacrifice, hard work, harsh weather along w [...]

    Erstklassiges DebütDieses Buch hat die größten Chancen bei mir unter die Top 3 2016 zu kommen.Ich wage jetzt einfach mal zu sagen: "Wer "Stoner" gemocht hat, wird auch dieses Buch lieben."Es geht hier um William Talmadge, der schon früh seine Mutter verliert. Als nach ihrem Tod auch noch seine Schwester Elsbeth beim Beeren suchen spurlos im Wald verschwindet, quälen ihn schwere Selbstvorwürfe. Er ist einsam, immer ist Elsbeth in seinen Gedanken."Irgendwann kam er unter dieser Trauer, unter [...]

    Talmadge’s story begins with loss. Loss of his father, then a few years later, his mother, followed still early in his years by the loss of his sister whose mysterious and unexpected disappearance haunts his days. He carries the sadness with him through his days like a toddler carries his favorite blanket, rarely letting go of it, feeling incomplete without it beside him. Days are spent in the orchard, tending the trees, or the occasional trips to town to sell his fruit. With the one unmarried [...]

    I really wanted to like the book -- the setting was great, and the characters were interesting. The plot, however, never achieved coherence, breaking down entirely after a point and finishing with one of the most pathetic endings I have ever had the misfortune to read. The prose, while solid, lacked the brilliance necessary to sustain interest as the narrative meandered to its unfortunate (although by the time it arrived, welcome) close. The author has a talented imagination and good descriptive [...]

    This is a very good book, beautiful writing, I just loved the main character Talmadge who had led such a lonely life until two young girls (sisters) appeared on his land.

    Very dreamy, lyrical novel, the pace and character of which is intimately woven into the landscapes, the seasons, the unrelenting hardship and loneliness of a settler's life in Washington in the late 1800s through to the 1920s. The area around Wenatchee, Washington is beautifully evoked, as is Lake Chelan and the early years of the fledgling fruit industry as it grew to the large apple export industry it would eventually become with modern transportation options. On Talmadge's orchard, he is lef [...]

    I felt this book started out great, but I lost interest very early on. Story just never seemed to go anywhere throughout most of book, and character's somehow just didn't connect for me. Author also seemed to repeat same conversations which made the book long and boring.Anyway, it's 1860 when Talmadge, age 12 and his sister Elsbeth, 11 are left to fend for themselves in an orchard in the Pacific NW after their mother's death. (view spoiler)[Five years later, Elsbeth leaves the cabin to collect h [...]

    Just one more chapter, I would promise myself and then I would read two, three or four, making myself late for some other activity or sleep. I couldn't stop reading this emotionally intense, gripping tale of William Talmadge who loved and tended his orchards with devotion in early 1900s rural Oregon. One day, two ferrel young and pregnant girls appeared to be hiding on his vast property and that is the day his life changed forever. Without hesitation or question he took on the role of their prot [...]

    Amanda Coplin was born to write and her debut book, The Orchardist, is an achievement. Set at the turn of the twentieth century, the book initially focuses on a solitary man named Talmadge: a man who nurtures apples, apricots, and plums from the land and mourns the death of his mother and disappearance of his sister who vanished with barely a trace. His life is very predictable until one day, two barefoot, filthy, and visibly pregnant teenage sisters appear.The description of the runaways – an [...]

    Just finished this and I am drained. Drained! So glad I wasn't reading the last 100 or so pages on public transportation. I sobbed. Literally. I was sobbing. Really haven't been hit this hard by a book in a long, long, time. First off, the story wasn't flawless. There were a few elements of the story that seemed to stretch possibility. But I am more than willing to overlook them given the sheer awe I feel over this being a first novel. Here's why.- Point of view. Masterful. Coplin presents a sce [...]

    The Orchardist tells the story of lonely Talmadge, the orchardist, a man deep-seeded in grief from the loss of his beloved sister who mysteriously disappeared. Talmadge's life is turned upside down when two runaway sisters begin stealing apples and food from him. Although I never fully got accustomed to the writing style, the story was compelling and I felt the author portrayed atmosphere exceptionally well in spite of the aloofness of the storytelling.Here is an example of the writing chosen no [...]

    In this understated and emotionally raw novel of a family born as much from choice as from blood, debut novelist Amanda Coplin explores themes of love, loyalty, courage, compassion, revenge, and honor, as well as the lifelong, traumatic impact of both childhood abuse and loss.The novel opens with orchardist William Talmadge, a tall, broad-shouldered and solitary man who is composed of the most steadfast moral fiber and potent vulnerability of almost any protagonist that I can recall in recent (n [...]

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