When I was a young girl of about fifteen or so I went with a friend to visit her grandmother. Nothing life-changing about that you might think, but, behind the suburban bungalow was a huge garden full of fruit trees and nothing else, they were old and gnarled and hadn’t been cared for in a long time (the grandmother was very ancient to my young eyes), but, I had been in my first orchard and met my first orchardist.
Wandering among the old trees in the long grass I tasted fruit fresh from the tree, plucked a strange green plum and savoured the buttery sweetness of a greengage. From that simple moment I promised myself that when I had my own garden I would plant fruit trees, and the first of these would be a greengage.
The memory of that garden stayed with me; I remembered my promise to myself and duly planted a greengage, four apple trees and a Victoria plum. Unfortunately my garden isn’t big enough to plant them as an orchard they are scattered through the borders, but the picture below is something like my remembrance of my friends grandmothers orchard.
So when I came across a book called The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin her debut novel, that took eight years to write, it seemed inevitable that I should buy it, and I am so glad that I did. Without doubt it is the best book I have read in a long time. ‘It is an astonishing and unforgettable epic about a man who disrupts the lonely harmony of his life when he opens his heart and lets the world in.’
If this post tempts you to read the book I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.