Theresa Weir, the author of The Orchard, begins her novel with a local legend from her town, Illinois. This book was a 2011 Oprah Magazine Fall Pick, Number Two on the Indie Next list, a featured in a B+ review in Entertainment Weekly, and was presented Librarians’ Best Books of 2011. The novel follows the life of a woman named Theresa that lives with her uncle in a bar because her parents were out of her life early on. She works at the bar, and one day chances to meet a man named Adrian Curtis with a supposedly cursed farm. The two talk and eventually get married at the local courthouse, and begin a new life on the farm. No one except the couple agree with the marriage, which poses a problem along the course of the story.
I believe my favorite character would have to be Adrian Curtis, because he can be very unpredictable, and you can’t really understand what he’s thinking throughout the book. It gives the text a lot of suspense and makes the reader feel like somewhat of a sleuth. I think an important thing that you could take from the book would be that even if Theresa made a risky decision to marry someone she didn’t necessarily know, if you follow your heart, you’ll know the way. She made uncertain choices throughout her life, and it’s what crafted her lifestyle and who she is.
Relating to the characters is a fairly easy task. I believe that I am most like Theresa, because sometimes I don’t think very much about the things I decide to do. She didn’t really think about what it would mean to be married to someone she hardly knew that is bound to a farm for their entire life to carry the family tradition.
I definitely thouroughly enjoyed the book, and I think that it was great how every other chapter explained a memory she had from when she was little, and then somehow connected it to the next chapter of the present. I don’t think I would change anything, especially because the author has their own style of writing, and I wouldn’t want to damage the great balance it has.
I would recommend this book to a more mature audience, because there are some scenes that contain some parts that a younger audience wouldn’t understand, or wouldn’t be able to handle.
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