For the month of December, the book for the book club is The Orchardist. The story takes place at the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural area of the Pacific northwest. In a reclusive orchard lives a man named William Talmadge, who tends to his supply of apples and apricots. William is a gentle man, who focuses on the sweet solitude of taking care of the fruit that his land provides. One day, two young teenage girls appear on his land and steal his fruit that is on display at the market; but later they return to the outskirts of the orchard to see the same man who gave them no chase. Scared and pregnant, the girls take up on William’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 tragedy that follows will set William on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect the girls, but also to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.
This book is brilliantly written and I couldn’t stop reading the book. The first few pages pull you in and you dive right into the story, not wanting to leave.