Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Orchard - Jeffrey Stepakoff

The Orchard
By Jeffrey Stepakoff

I was very excited when I first heard about Stepakoff’s second book. I read his first book, Fireworks Over Toccoa (my review), and I absolutely loved it but I, sadly, did not have the same strong feelings towards The Orchard.

The Orchard is about a career driven woman from Atlanta and a widowed father who owns a remarkable apple orchard. The lives of these two people quickly end up very entwined. My favorite characters in the story quickly became the orchard and the apples themselves. They had a storyline all their own with their sweet scent and the building anxiety of the perfect time to pick.

I grew up in a small town in which the festival is the Apple Blossom Festival. The memories this book brought up were amazing and I loved the way it brought me back to a time when my favorite sound was the plunk of an apple in a 5 gallon bucket and my favorite thing to eat was a just-picked apple slightly warmed from the sun.

All that said, I did have a few issues with the story. I found it to be extremely overwritten. There were so many moments that Stepakoff clearly wanted to play to the all the readers senses as best he could but it seemed like he got caught up in overly “showing.” While he was able to pull off many of his excessive descriptions, there became a point when I realized it was almost every moment and it was too much.

Although the story turned out to be extremely predictable I still closed the book with a giggle and an almost giddy smile on my face.

**Source: ARC from author

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