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The Apple Orchard Hardcover – April 30, 2013
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"Wiggs tells a layered, powerful story of love, loss, hope and redemption." -Kirkus, Starred Review
"This brilliant and epic family drama...fills the senses...courtesy of Wiggs' amazing narrative and supreme skill as a writer." -RT Book Reviews, Top Pick!
"Wiggs, who is known for
her insightful, emotion-filled women's fiction, has again written a tale with universal appeal. The background story of the Danish resistance as well as recipes from that part of the world are a nice touch, and add depth and atmosphere to Tess' story." -Booklist, on The Apple Orchard
"This is classic Wiggs, with its emphasis on the strength of family and friends, and a landscape integral to the plot."
–Publishers Weekly on The Apple Orchard
"Wiggs is one of our best observers of stories of the heart. She knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book."
"Rich with life lessons, nod-along moments and characters with whom readers can easily relate. Delightful and wise, Wiggs's latest shines."
-Publishers Weekly on Dockside
"With the ease of a master, Wiggs introduces complicated, flesh-and-blood characters into her idyllic but identifiable small-town setting...."
-Publishers Weekly, starred review, on The Winter Lodge
"Wiggs explores many aspects of grief, from guilt to anger to regret, imbuing her book with the classic would've/could've/should've emotions...another excellent title to her already-outstanding body of work."
-Booklist, starred review, on Table for Five
"Susan Wiggs paints the details of human relationships with the finesse of a master."
More About the Author
From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people. At the age of eight, she self-published her first novel, entitled "A Book About Some Bad Kids."
Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries. Her recent novel, Marrying Daisy Bellamy, took the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and The Lakeshore Chronicles have won readers' hearts around the globe. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature.
She lives with her husband and family at the water's edge on an island in the Pacific Northwest, where she divides her time between sleeping and waking.
Top Customer Reviews
On the verge of a promotion she is jolted by the news that a grandfather she didn't know existed has had an accident and is in a coma. If he dies, Tess will inherit half of Bella Vista, his apple orchard. The other portion will go to Isabel, a half-sister she never knew she had.
This shocking news was delivered by her grandfather's banker, Dominic Rossi. He convinces her to take a few days off to visit Bella Vista and her newly discovered family. It wasn't difficult to resist Dominic who was very persuasive and drop-dead gorgeous. She couldn't reach her mother, who wasn't returning her calls, so she agreed to the trip. Once she arrived she discovered there were more than a few old family secrets and that Bella Vista was on the verge of foreclosure.
I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did, but within a few chapters I was immersed in the beautiful setting, rich with detail and vivid descriptions. The characters are well-developed and likeable. Tess is a strong, independent woman and easy to relate to. In contrast, Isabel is more family oriented and an accomplished cook. Mealtime at Bella Vista was filled with descriptive images of food and I could almost smell the breakfast muffins and taste pasta sauce for dinner. The ten sections of the book each begin with one of her recipes, a bonus for those of us who enjoy cooking.
Most of the story takes place in the present day at Bella Vista with occasional flashbacks to World War II where the story of Tess's grandfather, Magnus, unfolds.Read more ›
San Francosco-based Tess Delaney restores stolen treasures to their rightful owners, a vocation at which she is very good and from which she derives immense satisfaction. Often her finds lead her to heirlooms lost during the Nazi occupation of Europe. One such example is a necklace that belonged to Annaliese Winther's mother. The impoverished elderly woman refuses to sell it despite knowing the money received could substantially improve her life. But to Annaliese, possessing the necklace means more; its value is in the memories.
Memories and traces of memories are all Tess has of her own childhood--a father she never met and a mother whose travel left her with her grandmother, a memorable Irish woman who owned a second-hand shop in Dublin. When she discovers she's been left half of a one hundred-acre apple orchard in the town of Archangel, she is puzzled. Even more puzzling is that the other half of Bella Vista has been left to Isabel Johansen, a half sister she never knew she had.
Tess travels to Bella Vista to dispose of the estate, but something magical begins to unfold. As she spends time there, she begins to experience many things, the simple pleasures of family and wonderful food, the haunting beauty of Sonoma county and a world where the roots of history run deep. Here, she's reminded of something Annaliese said: if you don't believe memories are worth more than money, then perhaps you've not made the right kind of memories.
As she begins to learn about her grandfather Magnus and his escape from Nazi occupied Europe, searching for information about him becomes a driving force in her quest.Read more ›
Tess takes time off work to visit her half sister and Bella Vista. Tess meets Dominic in the process. Tess and her half sister find some old letters. They uncover their family history.
The Apple Orchard is a charming, fast read. All the apple recipes in this book were a nice surprise as well. They had my mouth watering. However I could not spend too much time reading them as I wanted to get back to the story. Now that I am done with this book I can go back and try them out.
In the beginning I was not feeling Tess. I thought she needed to loosen up. However as the story progressed I did warm up to her and thought she and Dominic made a nice couple. The romance between them was on the sweet side. As I got closer to the end of the story, I became more interested in the past and where Tess's grandfather came from. The Apple Orchard is as good as taking a bite out of a nice, crisp apple.
Tess is confronted with many unsettling issues after she arrives in Archangel, but she doesn't want to stay to sort through them. However, as each day goes by, she is more drawn to the life she discovered there.
The characters were extremely well developed, and the plot had many twists and turns. My mind wandered back Archangel, Tess, and the other characters long after I finished the last page. I highly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was really taken into this story. Loved every bit of it!!! It is a fun read...Published 5 hours ago by Grammy K
Tess is a very successful young business woman at the top of her game with a group of like minded friends. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Dora L. Davison
It was a good story, well told. The characters were alive and believable. I recommend it and look forward to having my favorite cook try some of the recipes.Published 5 days ago by js33
always like books that are historical and teach things that we wouldn't normally know about from our own livesPublished 5 days ago by lora crofoot
I really enjoyed this book so much,ordered book 2 can't wait to read what happens with Isabel,Tess,and their grandfather.. Also, clean reading.Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the way it started out with Tess finding the valuable necklace and the older woman not wanting to sell it after all her work! Read morePublished 9 days ago by Zachary
I love this author and this book was just another example of her wonderful skill as a great storyteller. Read morePublished 12 days ago by =)face