What I’m NOT Reading: At the Edge of the Orchard

It’s not often that I tell you to stay away from a book.  Typically even it’s book that’s not my favorite, I make my way through it.  Not this one…not this time.

I just QUIT listening to the audio book At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier.

At the Edge of the Orchard

I was trying and trying to think how to write how I felt about the book (for the part I actually read).  Then when I went to see how many star Amazon readers gave the book I saw a review that included this…The story was dismal, and the characters were for the most part despicable.”

EXACTLY!  That says it all EXACTLY!

Who wants to read or listen to that?

In the story the mom talks without emotion about loosing a child every other year to the “swamp fever”.  She talks about hating her husband and hating her life.  The husband and wife are constantly bickering-constantly trying to under mind the other.  YUCK.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “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. 
Chevalier tells a fierce, beautifully crafted story in At the Edge of the Orchard, her most graceful and richly imagined work yet.

Amazon readers said 3.9 stars….HOW, I don’t know.  I refuse to even give it a star.  YUCK.

8 thoughts on “What I’m NOT Reading: At the Edge of the Orchard”

  1. I enjoying reading about many different subjects and have read many books that you recommend but the plot on this one does seem just too depressing! Thx for the honest warning Jo!

  2. Do you think someone wrote it under protest to fulfill a contract? I can’t imagine me reading this either.

  3. The first part is depressing. But it does get less depressing and by the end it all fits together into a powerful book IMO.

  4. I just took this book out of the library, so think I will at least give it a go and see what I think.. nothing lost but a little time.

  5. Isn’t that what happens in REAL life…?
    Some lives are sad, bitter and cold…..
    Some families know only bickering, fighting and emptiness…….
    Some children grow up never learning what it is to be loved, or accepted, or what kindness means.
    Not everyone’s life is all goodness, greatness and glamour. Not everyone has enough of everything to do or be anything they want…..!
    Someone else said the story did turn out good in the end……what is that saying….all’s good that ends good?? ☺

  6. Thanks for the information. I love this author and have read almost all of her books. There has been one or two that I knew not to read. This is one that no matter how good the ending was it would be abandoned long before I could reach it.

  7. The fact that it got any stars does have me wondering if the end ends up redeeming the book.

    As I tried to type this comment the Spinbrush ad cut in four times and froze the typing and a couple of times just moved the whole mess down to the next section. Now up to seven times. What has me concerned, when I talked to my DSL provider about “data” tracking…. it seems that the video on the blog ads and there are many out there not just yours count to my data use…. how does one know they are using “data”. Something in time is going to have to change.

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