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The Lemon Orchard Hardcover – July 2, 2013
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Trust Rice (Little Night, 2012), known for fiction that explores the power of family, to find the humanity in illegal immigration, a topic too often relegated to rhetoric and statistics. The story centers on Julia and Roberto, both of whom have suffered the loss of a daughter. Julia’s was killed in a car accident. Roberto’s little girl went missing as the pair crossed into the U.S. from Mexico—a trek through punishing desert that Rice depicts with visceral, heartbreaking brutality. The pair meet at the Malibu home of Julia’s aunt and uncle, where Julia is housesitting and Roberto oversees the titular orchard. An unlikely friendship forms between the two, a bond born out of shared grief, which eventually grows into a tender romance. Though Rice acknowledges the cultural chasm between her lovers, she also imbues her characters with uncommon kindness and understanding. Initially weighed down with exposition, Rice’s novel picks up steam as Julia takes up the search for Roberto’s daughter. An unexpected plot turn will leave readers begging for a sequel. --Patty Wetli
Praise for THE LEMON ORCHARD
"Rice here takes her signature themes of family and loss into the difficult and enigmatic landscape of illegal immigration to powerful effect . . . . An engaging and texturizing Southern California backdrop also subtly spotlights the struggle of land development and the environment as well as the fairy-tale atmosphere of Hollywood, and the book seamlessly includes details and plot points that both ground and enrich the story through its setting. Lovely and compelling, with quiet yet brave social commentary that enhances the book’s impact."
“Trust Rice (Little Night, 2012), known for fiction that explores the power of family, to find the humanity in illegal immigration, a topic too often relegated to rhetoric and statistics. . . . An unexpected plot turn will leave readers begging for a sequel.”
"Rice’s fans will appreciate the evocative setting and unconventional romance, as well as the harrowing . . . depictions of border crossing and the fascinating parallels drawn between Julia’s research interests (she studies the Irish who arrived in America over a century ago) and modern-day Mexican immigrants."
Praise for LITTLE NIGHT:
“Poetic and stirring…beautifully combines [Rice’s] love of nature and the power of family.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Best-selling author Rice’s 30th book is an outstanding read that both chills and warms the soul . . . highly recommended.”
—Library Journal, starred review
“Never rushing her story or revelations, Rice reaches the satisfying conclusion that while wounds run deep, love runs deeper.”
“A classic Rice page-turner.”
“In Little Night, Rice plumbs the depths of the damage that physical and mental abuse cause the recipients and allows us into the heads of those who suffer these situations. In spite of the serious nature of the subject matter, the story is filled with happy moments and an undying hope for future happiness.”
Praise for THE SILVER BOAT:
“Will strike a chord in every mother, daughter, or sister.”
“Popular Rice, in her mellifluous style, captures the essence of family and sisterhood as each character deals with love and loss.”
“Rice’s writing effortlessly conveys the way family can bind as well as buoy us, reminding us that when the sea of life gets too choppy, by setting our prows toward the places that made us, we will find a safe harbor. Another winner from one of America’s most beloved authors.”
“Rice enriches familiar themes of family, failure, redemption, and romance with a watercolor-lovely portrait of Martha's Vineyard and sketches of the tug-of-war between sea and sand, rich and poor, development and preservation characteristic of the island.”
“Compelling…a satisfying and worthwhile ride.”
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Top Customer Reviews
Julia is in California at her aunt and uncle's lemon orchard house sitting for them while they are in Ireland. She is still mourning the loss of her daughter in a car accident five years before and living in body but not spirit. Her marriage was troubled at the time of the accident and the death of her husband in the same accident left Julia with a mix of grief and guilt. While at the orchard she meets Roberto, a migrant worker from Mexico who is in charge of the orchard's workings. In Roberto she sees a kindred soul who has also had loss in his life. In an odd coincidence, his daughter was lost five years before at the same time as Julia's daughter. Eventually the two share their stories and find themselves falling in love. As wonderful as it is for the two to find happiness in each other, it is an incomplete happiness because of their shared sense of loss.
Ms. Rice must have done an incredible amount of research in this book to so accurately portray the journey that Roberto went through coming from Mexico and the terrible thing that happened. When Julia becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of that awful journey, the reader finds themselves immersed in the immigration issue from a point of view that most of us never consider. Interestingly for me, the day I finished this book I watched a TV news magazine do a story that covered one of the type of groups that Julia goes to on her quest. I think the character of Julia is especially interesting because she finds happiness is prepared to sacrifice it all for the peace of mind of her lover and that she can find a measure of solace by doing so.
This is an excellent book that needs to be read when one has the time to really sit and read it and to get immersed in the story. I found it impossible to put down and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoy ready Luanne Rice.