“Amanda Coplin’s The Orchardist is a haunting and epic debut with shades of Steinbeck.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
The Orchardist is a somber and melancholy read. It is a novel about grief and solace, but it’s not depressing. It is thoughtful. And it is beautiful.
It’s set on an apple orchard in the Pacific northwest at the turn of the 20th century. The main character is a reclusive orchardist named William Talmadge. He is a gentle and lonely figure; a solitary, simple man.
One ordinary day two pregnant and practically feral teenage girls appear in his orchard.
Their appearance sets in motion events that change his, the few people in his life and the lives of the two girls, forever. No one would expect that Talmadge would willing disrupt his quiet solitary life for them, but he does.