The Orchardist

The OrchardistThe Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Let me say upfront that the three stars this book is getting is more a reflection of me as a reader than the book itself. Amanda Coplein writes using beautiful and evocative language. And if this had been a movie it probably would have gotton 5 stars from me. Heresy I know.

This is a very visual book and my skills at visualizing are not that good. The other issue for me is that no action occurs until half way through the book. The characters communicate with few words and knowing silences and body language. This really made it diffcult for me as the reader to really develop a strong relationship with any of the characters. Even stunning actions are related to by the characters in such minimal ways that there always seems to be a disaffected distance. Does the author mean for us to think the characters are not one of strong emotions? I don’t think so. It’s probably more true that some of our main characters just didn’t have the socialiaztion skills to communicate them.

I am glad that I’ve read this for my real life book club. I’m looking forward to hearing what others think. I know many have expressed much greater enthusiasm for the book so I look forward to hearing more of their opinions. And perhaps that might lead me to other thoughts about this book. But for now, I’m left feeling liked I failed as a reader with this one.

Wishfully reading

I belong to a book club in real life called Wishfully Reading. This was the first book we chose and I do believe I recommended it. I really wanted to read this book, the description sounded so wonderful. When I began the book I was entranced with the language. As described above, I had real difficulty finishing the book and felt like I was an inadequate reader. When we met in July I discovered a few book club members liked it but more than a few did not. The more we talked the less I felt like the issue was me as a reader and the issue was more due to the writing. ALthough I still agree that the writing was evocative, others pointed out that the landscape was the real winner in all these descriptions. I think the author really missed out in letting us get to know these characters.

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