"With impeccable research and flawless prose, Chevalier perfectly conjures the grandeur of the pristine Wild West...?nd 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."
From internationally bestselling author Tracy Chevalier, 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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by Tracy Chevalier
by Tracy Guzeman
by Brian Tracy
"Chevalier's story of American frontier life and the trees, both apple and redwood, that influence the lives of a family is delivered by a talented group of narrators. Mark Bramhall, Hillary Huber, Kirby Heyborne, and Cassandra Morris each narrate the perspective of a family member. Bramhall and Huber are wonderfully cast as the warring Goodenough parents, with Heyborne and Morris doing an outstanding job voicing the letters sent between two Goodenough siblings. The one way this narration falls down is in having Bramhall continue to narrate the section of the novel that is from the point of view of the Goodenough son instead of having Heyborne take that role, since he's the one who represents that young man when he is writing letters. Bramhall continues to engage, but the choice is somewhat jarring to the listener. J.L.K. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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