The Orchard Lover

Christianna McCausland. Spring Idyll Press, $12.99 trade paper (242p) ISBN 978-0-692-08403-8
McCausland’s lush novel draws readers into a Maryland town as the locals live through the Great Depression. Alden Forth has only her aging grandfather Reginald to help her tend their peach orchard on the Forth Farm, and Reginald is developing an illness that leaves him confused and forgetful. At 35 years old, the independent, hardworking Alden has never married—she believes her family is cursed in love—but she takes summer lovers among the itinerant workers who pass through, adding “corners and curves that created a pleasurable circle” in her life. The simplicity of her world is tested when revivalist preacher Reverend Beale arrives, attempting to draw people to his tent meetings through malignant manipulation of the townspeople’s secrets after he tricks them into confiding in him, thus invading the privacy of Alden and her neighbors, including the wealthy, harsh Robert Scott and two of his daughters, Anna and Jane. Anna’s physical beauty is marred by a caustic meanness toward her father and sister, and she works with Beale to overturn Jane’s quiet life, which soon spreads the conflicts throughout the entire town. This is an excellent story of personalities that tumble and clash. (BookLife)
Reviewed on : 05/09/2019
Release date: 04/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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