Review | At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

Chevalier continues to be a master of historical fiction. 4/5.

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

Thank you to HarperCollins UK and NetGalley for providing me with an e-copy of this book.

The blurb: 1838: 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 required to stake their claim 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 life.

1853: 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 sequoia 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 last.

My take:

I’ve enjoyed all of Tracy Chevalier’s books. I leapt at the chance to request her latest without even reading the blurb, so confident was I that it would be good. And she hasn’t disappointed me.

Chevalier excels at capturing the atmosphere of a time and place. At the Edge of the Orchard transports the reader to mid-nineteenth-century America, where we struggle through the mud of the Black Swamps of Ohio before being whisked away to the hills of California to marvel at the redwoods and giant sequoias.

Continue reading…

WWW Wednesday 19th August 2015

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WWW Wednesday 12th August 2015

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Review | The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

Chevalier doesn’t disappoint, once again producing a meticulously-researched story with engaging characters.

The Last Runaway Tracy Chevalier book cover

Set in mid-nineteenth century America, The Last Runaway is an entertaining and interesting read with a varied cast of engaging characters. The story had some truly gripping moments when worrying about whether a runaway slave will get caught had me on the edge of my seat. The subjects of slavery, religion and women’s rights (among others) were handled sensitively and sat within the narrative – you never felt you were being “taught” something.

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WWW Wednesday 5th August 2015

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WWW Wednesday 29th July 2015

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WWW Wednesday 27-05-15

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Review | Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

Remarkable Creatures Tracy Chevalier book coverAnother captivating story of a woman pushed to the fringes of history.

Covering events which occurred in the early nineteenth century, Remarkable Creatures tells the story of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, two fossil hunters in Lyme Regis.

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WWW Wednesday 20-05-15

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