At the Edge of the Orchard: A Novel

Front Cover
Penguin, Mar 15, 2016 - Fiction - 320 pages
“With impeccable research and flawless prose, Chevalier perfectly conjures the grandeur of the pristine Wild West . . . and the everyday adventurers—male and female—who were bold enough or foolish enough to be drawn to the unknown. She crafts for us an excellent experience.”
USA Today

From internationally bestselling author Tracy Chevalier, author of A Single Thread, comes a riveting drama of a pioneer family on the American frontier

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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
5
4 stars
14
3 stars
8
2 stars
3
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Gmomaj - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - technodiabla - LibraryThing

I really liked this book despite the fact the it was utterly depressing and most of the characters were deplorable. The end did offer a glimmer of hope at least. The depictions of life in the Black ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
20
Section 3
69
Section 4
70
Section 5
71
Section 6
73
Section 7
74
Section 8
75
Section 24
194
Section 25
195
Section 26
196
Section 27
197
Section 28
198
Section 29
199
Section 30
201
Section 31
202

Section 9
77
Section 10
78
Section 11
79
Section 12
80
Section 13
81
Section 14
82
Section 15
83
Section 16
87
Section 17
123
Section 18
139
Section 19
157
Section 20
180
Section 21
189
Section 22
191
Section 23
192
Section 32
203
Section 33
204
Section 34
205
Section 35
206
Section 36
207
Section 37
209
Section 38
213
Section 39
221
Section 40
249
Section 41
255
Section 42
268
Section 43
282
Section 44
287
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2016)

Tracy Chevalier is the New York Times bestselling author of seven previous novels, including Girl with a Pearl Earring, which has been translated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., she lives in London with her husband and son.

Bibliographic information