At the turn of the 20th century in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a solitary orchardist, Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he's found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit from the market and later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, the girls take up on Talmadage?s land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion. Just as the girls begin to trust him, men arrive in the orchard with guns, and the shattering tragedy that follows will set Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect but to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past. Transcribing America as it once was before railways and roads connected its corners, Coplin has woven a tapestry of secluded people who come together in the wake of unspeakable cruelty and misfortune. She writes with breathtaking precision and empathy, and in THE ORCHARDIST 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.
An epic debut about turn-of-the-centruy America
"Beautifully written, so alive to the magnificence of the land and the intricate mysteries of human nature, that it inspires awe rather than depression." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A native of Washington State, Amanda Coplin has been a Fellow at The Fine Arts Work Centre in Provincetown, Massachusetts, as well as Ledig House International Writers' Residency Program in Ghent, New York. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.