Book Review: The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin

August 27, 2012
Article first published as Book Review: The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin on Blogcritics.

The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin is a novel taking place in Washington State at the early part of the 20thCentury. This is Chopin’s first book and is a majestic debut, a new book which reads like an old friend.

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book— use the Raf­fle­copter form at the end of the post to enter.

  • 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006218850X
Book Review The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin
My rating for The Orchardist4
Buy this book in paper or electronic format

The Orchardist by Amanda Chopin is a beautifully written and haunting novel, a mood not usually captured by first time authors. The prose is lyrical and the characters enchanting, even though they might not be likeable they grow on the reader and make one invest in their future.

The reason I requested to be on the tour for this book is actually quite nostalgic. Many years ago, what seems like 100 years ago (and unfortunately, what seems like 100 lbs. as well) I walked along the Inca Trail in Bolivia(slightly less famous than its Peruvian counterpart which I walked several weeks later). After a few days we came upon an orchard in the Andes Mountains, ran by a Japanese orchardist (still inBolivia) who let us stay the night and eat as much fruit as we can.

 The Japanese orchardist I met in Bolivia

The view from the orchard across the Andes Mountains

I also worked in an orchard for a few years, back in Israel– a difficult yet rewarding job which I often view with rose colored glasses.
So you see, my fascination with orchards has been lifelong, the smell of an orange orchard brings a back many sweet memories, I simply could not pass up this book.

The depiction of the land and the frontier landscape are written with clarity and sensibility as well as incorporating the characters within it. The style worked very well for this novel because the people were part of the land, cultivated by it and not the other way around.

“But the next day he stood in the midsection of an apple tree and saw them come meandering down the orchard rows. He continued with the shears in the high branches and watched them indirectly. They stopped down the row from him and sat in the grass.”

The theme of the book, people don’t get over their losses, is established early on, about a quarter through the book. However the American sense of optimism which everything will work out and good things will happen is always present regardless of the challenges Chopin throws at her characters.

The prose is beautifully written, but at time overly stretched. That being said, the author’s talent shines throughout the book, I certainly hopes she keeps on writing and am looking forward to read many more books of quality from her pen.

William Talmadge had had a hard life, orphaned at an early age and losing his sister mysteriously, he made his living from a successful orchard which draw in all his talents and energy. Talmadge takes in two runaway teenager, sisters who were both abused and pregnant.

Life is rough inWashingtonStateand Talmadge is repaid for his generosity with a series of events marked with tragedy and violence, as well as a few glimmers of joy.

Buy this book in paper or electronic format


  • Give­away ends: September 03, 2012

  • US/Canada Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Congratulations: bethvollbach@

TLC Book Tour for The Orchardist  by  Amanda Chopin

Zohar – Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours

BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read The Orchardist? If so link up your review below:

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  • Laura Kay August 27, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Thanks for the giveaway! This sounds like a very moving story. This is the first review I’ve read even though I’ve seen a few now I’m interested in reading it!

    Laura Kay

  • techeditor August 27, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I accidentally pressed ENTER on the first entry before I gave my email: bethvollbach(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

    Also, I pressed ENTER on the last entry, but I’m not sure if I’m already a member. I’ll check tonight; I can’t check from where I am today.

  • MaryAnn Koopmann August 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Sounds wonderful, thanks!

  • Julie Rupert August 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Would love to win this book.

  • nan August 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Thanks for the chance to win.

    nanze55 at hotmail dot com

  • Sheila K. August 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I would love to read this book—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  • Margie August 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway. This sounds like a beautifully written book.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  • Laurie C August 27, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Nice review with a personal touch! The book sounds good. Thanks for the giveaway offer!

  • nfmgirl August 27, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks so much for the giveaway! This book landed on my Wish List immediately upon learning of it a couple of months ago!

    nfmgirl AT gmail dOT com

  • Carl August 27, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    This looks like such a good book, I’d really like to win this copy. All I can do is enter and hope. Here’s hoping. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

  • Jen August 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about this one. Would love to win a copy! Thanks for the chance!
    js1997 AT gmail DOT com

  • Mary Ward August 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I’ve heard such great things about this book.


  • Connie August 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Hi! Thank you for a wonderful giveaway! I really want to read this book. 🙂

  • Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours September 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I love that this book brought back such wonderful memories for you!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

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