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At the Edge of the Orchard

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Robert's growing skill in these endeavours sees him become his own man and helps him to understand his father's fascination with his apple orchard. A visitor looks at Raphael's painting 'Extase de Sainte Cecile', 1515, from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence during the opening of a Raphael exhibition at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, Russia. I found myself skimming parts and not really interested in his love affairs or what happens to him after Martha's totally unnecessary and pointless death.

We also learn about swamp fever and how it easily took the lives of some of James and Sadie’s children, which possibly explains a part of why James loves his trees and Sadie hates them. Chevalier ( The Last Runaway, 2013) excels at creating a highly accessible read that takes a surprisingly dark look at the brutal conditions of frontier life. Apparently the love of trees is in the Goodenough blood, as Robert eagerly apprentices himself, learning about botany along the way.Little Martha remains in the Black Swamp, and we get a window into her life through her own letters sent over the years in the hope of reaching Robert, whilst she herself painstakingly salts away every dime she can earn to fund her own journey west. Life is harsh in the swamp, and as fever picks off their children, husband and wife take solace in separate comforts. She spends much of her time drunk on applejack and trying to sabotage his efforts at growing good eating apples and developing their land. I like how Chevalier wove in historical figures here, particularly William Lobb, the English seed agent Robert works for, and real-life American folk hero John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed). She totally immerses her readers into the time and the places of her stories, and she has done it once again in At The Edge of the Orchard.

An employee hangs works of art with "Grand Teatro" by Marino Marini (R) and bronze sculpture "Sfera N. The first part was too long to feel like an introduction, but too short to feel like an equal part of the book.The desperate struggle of the early settlers was convincingly portrayed, and the wide sweep of frontier history, incorporating ranches, the gold rush and the constant movement across the vast, largely empty continent was very illuminating.

I think this is more a case of Chevalier's individual style rather than necessarily a flaw in her writing but it does require a certain amount of patience from the reader and an ability to just be swept along with the plot and trust that all will come together eventually. These letters track his road west and eventually to California where he becomes a collector of trees for William Lobb, an Englishman who sends saplings and seeds back home to collectors who wish to see Redwoods and Sequoias growing on their estates. James and Sadie Goodenough may have been attracted to each other when they were happily settled in Connecticut but we meet them after they have left the Goodenough family farm and struck out on their own, in the Black Swamp of northwest Ohio. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. Her second novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, sold 4 million copies worldwide, and was made into a film starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson.One particularly vicious fight sends Robert out alone across America, far from his sister, into a life dominated not by apple trees but by the mighty redwoods and sequoias of California. We know that family members are all different in size, shape, personality, and these are no different. The setting and characters are vividly portrayed, even if they are not likable and left me horrified at times.

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