“Review first posted on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-orchardist.html
The orchardist is William Talmadge, a reclusive man living in the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the century. He quietly tends to his fruit orchards and makes a living. He lives alone, having lost his family when he was rather young. One day, two teenage girls steal some fruit from him. Rather than pursuing them, he deals with them with great gentleness. Gradually, he learns that they are young, pregnant, and running from an abusive life. Gradually, they learn to trust him. The girls are pursued by their captors, and what happens when they catch up alters the course of all their lives.
I abandoned this book after about a 120 pages. I just could not finish it. It is bleak and depressing. Each of the characters are rather reclusive and caught in the depths of their own sorrows. A lot of the writing is description - of the beautiful countryside, of William Talmedge's work, thoughts, and point of view. The descriptions got very long and very hard to read after a while.
Also, I felt a divide between me as the reader and the characters. The stories were sad, but the characters seemed so distant that I had a hard time developing a relationship with the characters. Even a hundred pages in.
I very rarely abandon books, but unfortunately, I abandoned this one.”