The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
The Orchardist was a slow and easy book that delved deeply into character development. I was amazed that even the conflicts were slow moving. In some instances, I wanted to read faster to finally "get to the point." However, in our world of rush, rush, rush, it can be nice to have a book that makes you practice mindfulness.
The Orchardist is Talmadge. He is a man of precision and exactness. He never hurries. He rarely gets rattled. In so many ways, the books pace was the pace kept by Talmadge. His life, though riddled with one challenge after the other, isn't very spectacular. Yet, in his ordinary doings, we begin to understand how deep his emotions go.
Della is the exact opposite. She seems to run headlong into trouble as fast as her two legs will carry her. And her challenges didn't temper her spirit. Instead, they drove it.
Finally, there is Angeline. A child who seems to possess the best of both Talmadge and Della. She knows when to be precise, and she knows when to be headstrong. She knows when to be quiet, and she knows when to make herself heard.
I enjoyed the interaction between these characters, as well as the many side relationships. Clee who never speaks, and Caroline who doesn't know how to keep quiet are Talmadge's best friends, though he would never use an expression like that. He rarely thinks in terms of best or least. They simply are.
I also learned a lot about orchards and growing fruit, and how things began to change with the coming of the railroad.
I would give this a 4 out of 5 stars, and for those who enjoy strong character-driven fiction and don't mind easing into a story, then this one might be for you.
Teri M Brown, author of An Enemy Like Me and Sunflowers Beneath the Snow connects readers with characters they'd love to invite to lunch.
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