The Orchardist

The OrchardistSet 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. 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 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 speak of in the human realm, really And then this happened He had had a tough time of it After the mining death of his father in 1857, when he was nine years old, his mother traveled with him and his sister, Elspeth, north and west until they found a suitable piece of land in what is now Washington State There they set up a farm Three years later mom passes, and Talmadge and his one year younger sister are left on their own to run it Oh, and toss in a bout of smallpox that he manages to survive a few years later A year after that, at the ripe old age of 17, his sister takes off Some childhood When we meet Talmadge he is well into middle age One day while at the market with his produce, he spots two filthy teen age girls stealing some of his apples and everything changes.Amanda Coplin image from Vol 1 Brooklyn Talmadge is a man who has lived most of his life alone With the arrival
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 However mid way the novel climaxes and the reader is left wondering what 200 pages is going to add to the experience The answer is not much I did finish out of a sense of duty and a vague expectation that would be revealed in the latter half, or that the plot would take a hairpin turn of some sort though the pace was steady if not plodding throughout Perhaps that is the way life is, unexceptional, dull even at times.It certainly isn t fair, and that is than represented in The Orchardist But this book could have used a little plot, especially on the back end That is, ultimately, the reason I read to hear a good story, well toldchokengtitik

titikchokengs 7 16 13 at one point I developed a theory that would have made the book interesting I think what if Jane and Della were really Talmadge s nieces, the missing pieces to the puzzle of whe
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 Washington state, The Orchardist is a fierce and poetic story of the Northwest frontier William Talmadge, the orchardist, has led a secluded, solitary life since he was a young man Orphaned in early adolescence, he and his younger sister Elsbeth, worked on their own to build and maintain acres of apple and apricot orchards in the Wenatchee Valley When she turns sixteen, Elsbeth vanishes Whether she is taken or disappears of her own volition is a question that will haunt Talmadge as the century turns and he enters the later years of his life Talmadge provides refuge to two young women who appear in his orchard one day, filthy, s
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 life Two young pregnant girls appear and they will be the catalyst for one of his greatest joys but also the cause of much sorrow The beauty of the orchard is sharply contrasted with the violence that eventually comes his way Although the subject and the tone verge on the melancholic , the novel is so beautifully written , the descriptions of the land, with the orchards so alive that this novel genders much admir
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 book blurb described it, felt as if it were the subject of an old folksong But for me the book seemed somehow flawed.Coplin invents a time and place shaped by her own imagination, by her own emotions toward the curious world she conjures, than by the historical record She failed to persuade me that her invention was anything than a romantic hallucination.One can argue that all history is a re imagining, a re visioning of the past But history relies on testimony new facts, or overlooked facts, but always something factual from the record Fiction nee
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 about women and all their complexities A lonely man with a golden heart and an unlovable physique Children Their purpose being to bind us to the earth and to the present, to distract us from death An introduction with this quote The roses you gave me kept me awake with the sound of their petals falling. Jack Gilbert.Main characters TalmadgeAngeleneCaroline MiddeyCreeDella and Janet MichaelsonIt is a tale of three graves on a mountain plateau, under a prehistoric cottonwood tree with its small silver green leaves that flashed constantly in the wind It was the only tree on the plateau that was not a fruit tree The plateau was the place where the yellow grass waved in the wind and the air smelled of honeysuckle and duff writing silence over an overarching bigger silence Insects were percolating in the grass in their private and in
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 by horrific abuse afterwards Basically, the story is about his intense connection to his orchard and also his attempts to love, care for and protect these two damaged women and one of their offspring, Angeline Angeline s father like relationship with this wonderful man was so touching for me The love between Talmadge and Angeline throughout their years together was a prominent theme in this novel I found myself relating to the adult Angeline when she returns to the orchard to view the graves and reminisce under the old Cottonwood tree She remembers that old Cottonwood tree as so much larger I was reminded of one summer when I drove by my old childhood home in a tiny, Eastern Colorado town That home was so much smaller than my recollection and now looks rather forlorn I was saddened to see the old trees gone It was hard to believe that such a small and modest home held so many rich and wonderful memories for me This author conjured up those same familiar memories once
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 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 l
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 the Wentchatee Valley of central Washington State at the end of the 19th century At the beginning of the tale, he is in his 40 s, living a pretty lonely life, but blessed by two particular friends One is a herbalist and midwife, Caroline Middey, and the other a Nez Perce named Clee, who comes through each year with captured wild horses from the mountains to break and sell.From the beginning, we learn how grief shapes Talmadge s life His father died when he was a child, leading his mother to travel with him and his sister to find a better life They end up taking up residence at an aban
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 concerned with the emotions behind an action or choice, than the action or choice itself Her descriptions of feelings are powerful, even though they are always understated.He did not expect her to be happy how that word lost meaning as the years progressed but he only wished her to be unafraid, and able to experience small joys.The story At the turn of the twentieth century, in a remote stretch of Northwest America, a solitary o

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  • Hardcover
  • 426 pages
  • The Orchardist
  • Amanda Coplin
  • English
  • 22 February 2017
  • 9780297867906