[PDF/EBOOK] At the Edge of the Orchard BY Tracy Chevalier

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Laim on the property But the orchard they plant sows the seeds of a long battle James loves the apples reminders of an easier life back in Connecticut; while Sadie prefers the applejack they make an alcoholic refuge from brutal frontier life1853 Their youngest child Robert is wandering through Gold Rush California Restless and haunted by the broken family he left behind he has made his way alone across the country In the redwood and giant I like Tracy Chevaliers writing and was keen to read this story which starts in Ohio in 1838 The aptly named place called Black Swamp where James and Sadie Goodenough live is a harsh landscape James is committed to growing apple trees Golden Pippins brought over from England initially are his favourites His wife resents her husband and the life they are living She spends much of her time drunk on applejack and trying to sabotage his efforts at growing good eating apples and developing their land Sadie is a thoroughly despicable character and James is not much better The way they treat each other and their family is appalling So why did I keep reading Because it is so well written The setting and characters are vividly portrayed even if they are not likable and left me horrified at times This harsh lifestyle and warring of husband and wife takes its toll on the family in horrific waysNo wonder Robert their youngest son flees The next part of the story tells of his life travelling America picking up various jobs just to exist and being part of the California Gold Rush for a time Finally though he finds something that interest him and it concerns trees He forges a life for himself but the past comes back to haunt him Despite his dysfunctional family Robert is a likeable character who draws some larger than life people around him Even though this book was hard to read given the attitudes and behaviour of his parents I was fascinated by the information about not only apple growing but the other tress that populate this novel I really enjoyed the author s notes at the end which tells of the real people who inhabit the pages of this novel and add to the story I found this to be an interesting read and I learned a lot about various trees and types of apples I really liked the ending I d say not the easiest read and won t suit everyone but definitely well worth reading

FREE DOWNLOAD At the Edge of the Orchard

At the Edge of the Orchard

Seuoia groves he finds some solace collecting seeds for a naturalist who sells plants from the new world to the gardeners of England But you can run only so far even in America and when Robert's past makes an unexpected appearance he must decide whether to strike out again or stake his own claim to a home at lastChevalier tells a fierce beautifully crafted story in At the Edge of the Orchard her most graceful and richly imagined work yet This is an intense story of a married couple Sadie and James Goodenough and their children who settled in the swamps of Ohio in 1838 James has a love of apples and struggles with the muddy swampland to grow an apple orchard He buys his seeds and saplings from none other than Johnny Appleseed James loves the sweet apples but his wife Sadie loves the sour apples called spitters as those she can use to make applejack which helps her escape the trials of the swamp The biggest trial they face is swamp fever which constantly threatens the lives of them and their childrenThis is a dark book about a terribly troubled marriage As their anger and disillusionment escalate the book veers off from the swamp to follow the Goodenough s youngest son Robert as he breaks away from the family to head west to California s gold rush Due to the love of apples that Robert learned at his father s side he eventually becomes a tree agent collecting seeds and saplings to be sent to England His story is told in part through his letters back home to which he receives no response although his beloved sister Martha has also been diligently sending off letters The author does revisit Ohio to tell of the tragedy that sent Robert away from home and what Martha endured after Robert leftThis author is meticulous in her research not only into the lives of those who lived in the swamps of Ohio during that period of time and the California Gold Rush but also the growing and nurturing of trees which I found to be very interesting This is a very good story about an unforgiving land and those who tried to endure thereThis book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review

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From internationally bestselling author Tracy Chevalier a riveting drama of a pioneer family on the American frontier1838 James and Sadie Goodenough have settled where their wagon got stuck in the muddy stagnant swamps of northwest Ohio They and their five children work relentlessly to tame their patch of land buying saplings from a local tree man known as John Appleseed so they can cultivate the fifty apple trees reuired to stake their c The novel starts out with alternating chapters of a husband and wife having settled in Black Swamp Ohio traveling west from Connecticut when they could go no further through the mud These are not just alternating points of view but so opposing it had me wondering why they married in the first place James wanted to grow apples for eating and Sadie wanted to grow spitters for the applejack This is a vindictive embittered husband and wife and I was heartbroken for their childrenI know the times were hard in the 1830 s in Black Swamp Ohio but such a dysfunctional family I almost gave up on them It was just so hard to like these people The drinking and beatings and fights over the trees the dark miserable life they led The only light I saw was in one of their children RobertIt was a relief to get to the part focusing on Robert who leaves home and goes west It was here that I saw glimpses of some lovely writing as Robert forges his way west carrying with him the burden of his past and well as his love of trees We are though taken back to Black Swamp and it is eventually revealed why Robert left Ohio and the family s apple farm It is here in this section on Robert that I got a sense of the history that Chevalier skillfully depicts Even though I had a difficult time with the dark parts of the story I felt a connection to Robert and was glad that I didn t give up on him before seeing the good man that he becomes and the hope that seemed impossible Thanks to Penguin Group USA IncViking and Edelweiss


10 thoughts on “At the Edge of the Orchard

  1. says:

    The novel starts out with alternating chapters of a husband and wife having settled in Black Swamp Ohio traveling west from Connecticut when they could go no further through the mud These are not just alternating points of view but so opposing it had me wondering why they married in the first place James wanted to grow apples for eating an

  2. says:

    Sometimes a book comes along that somehow ticks all the boxes This is one of those books it's minutely researched surefooted touching and at times heartbreakingly beautiful and yet it manages to remain deceptively simple throughout navigating the potentially difficult waters of the multiple narrative multiple timeline style as easily as a clipper ship on a sunny summer's day The voices are rich and individual; the attention to detail impres

  3. says:

    35 Black Swamp Ohio is as far as the James and Sadie Goodenough with their children manage to travel Here they settle here Johnny Appleseed finds them and sells James apple trees and apple seedsThese trees would prove a big bone of contention between husband and wife Dysfunctional family apple trees apple jack Hobbs a seed collecto

  4. says:

    You know when you read an amazing book where the landscape becomes one of the characters You know the moors in Return of the Native or the highlands and the house in Wuthering Heights In At the Edge of the Orchard you have trees Apple trees and redwoods and giant seuoias The trees and landscape are also metaphors that reflect the lives of the characters The Black Swamp where everyone is stuck and it's hard to

  5. says:

    I like Tracy Chevaliers’ writing and was keen to read this story which starts in Ohio in 1838 The aptly named p

  6. says:

    My primary complaints with this novel are the characters were flat and stereotypical and the story dragged for the first two thirds of the novel None of the characters were highly likable or engaging They did not seem to have significant depth If you are new to Tracy Chevalier's work I would recommend her earlier novels

  7. says:

    I am a huge fan of Tracy Chevalier and have read all of her previous novels I've been very excited about this one since I he

  8. says:

    Just having the word Orc

  9. says:

    This is an intense story of a married couple Sadie and James Goodenough and their children who settled in the swamps of Ohio in 1838 James has a love of apples and struggles with the muddy swampland to grow an appl

  10. says:

    A Wonderful story From the black swamps of Ohio to San Francisco and Beyond Tracey Chevalier is such a skilled story teller I read this book in almost one sitting Pioneers and settlers lived tough lives I have a fondness for stories of San Francisco during the Gold rush and have always wanted to visit the red woods so this book was perfect for me

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