There's one fall debut that I keep hearing about over and over again. Those who downloaded the Book Club Girl Sampler to their e-reader (which is free and still available) may have already read a bit of it as well. It's being praised as: “eloquent, moving” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), “mesmerizing” (Booklist), “breathtaking” (Library Journal), and written in the tradition of “great American storytelling” (NYT bestselling author Wally Lamb).
Highly original and haunting, THE ORCHARDIST by Amanda Coplin is set in the untamed Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century with the narrative centering on a reclusive orchardist named Talmadge, a gentle man who finds a deep solace and connection to the land he cultivates and the fruit it bears. The idyllic harmony of his solitary life is sharply challenged, however, by the unexpected arrival of two young, pregnant girls—scared, hungry, tired, and running from their past—who take up residence on the outskirts of his land. Their arrival in his life and the connections they make leave indelible marks on the course of their lives, rendering them all forever changed by violence, misfortune, compassion, courage, and above all, a deeply complicated and unspoken love.
Debut author Amanda Coplin, who was born in Wenatchee, Washington (the “Apple Capitol of the World”), spent more than 8 years writing this novel. Hear the full story behind the book when you meet her on tour this fall, or get to know her as she guest-posts this week (Aug. 20-24) on the Powell’s blog. Browse inside The Orchardist, which is on sale tomorrow, 8/21, and if you’re interested in reading it with your book club, check out this reading group guide to get the conversation started.