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 time among his fruit trees when one day two teenage girls appears and steals his fruit from the market place. What transpires changes Talmadge’s life forever.
First of all, so glad I bought this book in Paperback and not downloaded to my kindle as the cover is stunning and really sets the scene for the novel. This is one of those books you want on your bookshelf. Having recently finished East of Eden by John Steinbeck I found coplin’s prose just as fresh and compelling and would certainly see how if you liked East of Eden you would enjoy the characters and pace of the Orchardist.
I especially loved the sense of time and place of this novel and I loved the detailed descriptions of the land and Talmadge’s work as an orchardist on the frontier.
While this isn’t a light novel I at no stage found it depressing. This is a story about loss and yearning and deals with some tough subject matter but I never felt Coplin dragged the story down with unnecessary graphic or ugly scenes.
This is a well written, slow paced, character driven novel with a storyline and characters that are fresh and complex.
A well deserved 5 star read for me.