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At the Edge of the Orchard: A Novel Hardcover – March 15, 2016

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,057 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • At the Edge of the Orchard: A Novel
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  • A Single Thread: A Novel
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  • The Last Runaway by Chevalier, Tracy (2013) Hardcover
Total price: $36.35
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chevalier may not be able to trump her wildly successful second novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, but her eighth outing is a compelling showcase of 19th-century American pioneering spirit in which a family from Connecticut struggles to establish an apple orchard in the swamplands of Ohio. James Goodenough can trace his family and his beloved Golden Pippin apples back to England, though he seeks his own future away from his family's farm. The story of his adventure going west unfolds from his point of view as well as from that of Sadie, his contentious wife, a tough woman with a wild libido and a hankering for applejack. True-life figure John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) plays a role in the Goodenoughs' fortunes, as does British plant collector William Lobb, who becomes a key figure to James and Sadie's youngest son, Robert, when circumstances force him to flee Ohio and make his own life on the West Coast. Against a backdrop of family travails in Ohio and personal revelations in California come intriguing facts about apples, such as their division into "eaters" and "spitters" (used for apple cider and applejack), as well as how American pine trees, redwoods, and Sequoias were painstakingly introduced to England. The author's insightful observations about domestic life and the pull of relationships bring depth to a family story that inevitably comes full circle in a most satisfying way. (Mar.)\n

Review

Globe and Mail Fiction Bestseller

“Chevalier is a master at foregrounding the small, dramatic stories of overlooked people from the past.”
—Geraldine Brooks

“Sometimes, a book comes along that somehow ticks all the boxes. This is one of those books: The voices are rich and individual; the attention to detail impressive; the scent of apples, damp earth, and pines runs potently through the whole. A joy.”
—Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat

“With impeccable research and flawless prose, Chevalier perfectly conjures the grandeur of the pristine Wild West Robert encounters, the bawdiness of the period, and the commanding needs of 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

“A well written tale about people with courage, including strong women who make the best of what life offers.”
Washington Times

“Chevalier is a gifted conjurer.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Excellently researched…brings to life a seminal chapter in American history…A compelling look at what was lost and gained in westward expansion.”
People

“A heartbreaking narrative of an Ohio pioneer family’s struggles…A pleasureable literary experience.”
—BookPage

“Chevalier’s research is painstakingly detailed without weighing down the story…Chevalier has created a patchwork of stories…together they form a picture of lives wrested from an unforgiving land, but with a promise of renewal.”
The Guardian


Praise for Tracy Chevalier:


"Evokes entire landscapes...a master of voices."
New York Times Book Review (on Falling Angels)

"Absorbing...[Chevalier] creates a world reminiscent of a Vermeer interior: suspended in a particular moment, it transcends its time and place."
—The New Yorker (on Girl With a Pearl Earring)

“Chevalier admirably weaves historical figures and actual events into a compelling narrative.”
San Francisco Chronicle (on Remarkable Creatures)

"Chevalier's signature talent lies in bringing alive the ordinary day-to-dayness of the past...lovingly evoked."
Elle (on Burning Bright)

"Chevalier's ringing prose is as radiantly efficient as well-tended silver."
Entertainment Weekly (on Falling Angels)


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Product details

  • Publisher : Viking; First Edition (March 15, 2016)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0525953000
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0525953005
  • Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.81 x 0.94 x 8.56 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 1,057 ratings

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
1,057 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 26, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Tamsett
3.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about apples is here.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2017
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25 people found this helpful
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sujay
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 1, 2017
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8 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely horticultural theme to life of the early Settlers in America, that entertained and educated at the same time.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 27, 2018
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6 people found this helpful
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K. Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and evocative.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 5, 2018
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2 people found this helpful
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Christine Davis
2.0 out of 5 stars Its enough to put you off apples for life. !!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2017
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6 people found this helpful
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