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The Orchard: A Novel Hardcover – July 5, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a truly heartwarming and emotional story, with characters so interesting and unusual the reader can’t help but keep reading until the final page has been turned."
--RT Book Reviews
 
"...above your standard romance, though readers with an itch for a solid love story won't be disappointed."
--Publishers Weekly
 
"if you love a sweet romance ... you will delight in this read."
--Lit & Leisure
 
“A luminous love story that readers won’t soon forget. It is at once heartbreaking and triumphant—an affirmation of love in all its forms.”
—Emily Giffin
 
“...literally explodes with life. I absolutely loved every character and hated for their story to end. Kaboom!”
—Dorothea Benton Frank

 

About the Author

JEFFREY STEPAKOFF has written for more than a dozen different television series, including the Emmy-winning The Wonder Years, Sisters, and Dawson's Creek, for which he was co-executive producer.  Author of the acclaimed novel, Fireworks Over Toccoa, he has also developed and written plays, TV pilots and major motion pictures, including Disney's Tarzan and Brother Bear.  Stepakoff holds a BA in Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon.  He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and three young children.  His fiction is published in six languages.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312581599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312581596
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,788,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on July 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
One of my favorite memories as a child is going to pick apples every fall. I will never forget the smells and tastes of the orchard. There is nothing like picking a fresh apple off the tree and biting into it.

When I saw Jeffrey Stepakoff's new book was titled The Orchard, I knew with my love of orchards and apple picking, it was a must read for me. His first book Fireworks Over Toccoa is a wonderful love story that I enjoyed very much. I was anxious to read Mr. Stepakoff's newest book.

The main character, Grace Lyndon is a confident woman who is always in control. I admired her confidence. Grace is a real go-getter. She is a savvy business woman. She develops scents and flavors for major companies and their products. I had never really given much thought to such a job but found myself immersed in learning more about this position. Jeffrey Stepakoff does a fantastic job explaining Grace's job and all it involved. I found it fascinating. I'll never look at scents and flavors the same again.

When Grace tries to track down an exquisite apple's origin, she runs into Dylan Jackson, owner of an apple orchard and his spunky daughter, Carter. Carter is a curious pre-teen who is wise beyond her years. Dylan is a widower, who is not quite ready to give up his deceased wife. The father/daughter relationship between these two is very endearing. Grace wants to research the apples on the family orchard for product development. Dylan is not ready to let anyone in his life or his orchard.

Mr. Stepakoff's writing had me imagining I was in the orchard where I could almost smell and taste the apples. I never knew so much went into growing apples. His writing is wonderfully descriptive. You will almost be able to hear the apple leaves rustling in the breeze.
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Format: Hardcover
She's in the world of perfumes and flavors and when she tastes an apple that has a unique flavor, she's on the hunt for the elusive scent...

Mr. Stepakoff creates a very strong female lead character that is afraid of nothing, is a work-a-holic, and a corporate game player. The apple belongs to Dylan, the male lead, who is a widowed single father and whose heart hasn't mended since his wife's unfortunate death. Dylan is determined to refuse the big corporation's request for access to his land and his trees. Grace won't take no for an answer.

I was surprised to see a man write such an accurate portrayal of the emotional make up of people's characters. The author does an excellent job of expressing Grace's desire for the unusual scent and Dylan's reluctance at finding Grace attractive; he's still in love with his dead wife.

The really interesting part of this tale is the author's knowledge of how scents are acquired, how they are mixed, and how to really experience the touch, taste, feel, and smell of good food or good fragrances. He describes a unique meal and gives you enough information you get hungry as you read it. It made me look at food presentation and the style of cooking much differently.

I found the juxtaposition of world of fragrance and the world of an apple orchard grower fascinating. The developing romance goes slowly and the two main characters find their priorities in life changing. The plot is realistic and a pleasure to read. I enjoyed this story enough, I'm going to look for the author's first book: Fireworks Over Toccoa. I bet that will be good also.

Why not visit this apple orchard yourself and laugh over Grace's predicaments?

Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A beautiful layered story about a very large industry of which very little is known...the fragrance and flavor industry. This is a novel, but teaches a lot of interesting information about this interest. It will open your own senses to what is growing in your garden, about bio-chemistry, about laboratory processes, about the leaders, the movers, and the shakers in the industry. But, itt also teaches a beautiful story of love about a closed up power driven woman, and a man who is carrying a deeply broken heart...how the two meet and the journey to finding new hearts, opening to love once again......all in a wonderful Apple orchard. I enjoyed this book immensely. I will keep it and reread....I will give it for gifts. And, I love everything about apples!!
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Format: Hardcover
Penned by Jeffery Stepakoff, the writer and co-producer of the drama series Dawson's Creek, The Orchard is a heartwarming story primarily set in a lush orchard (hence the name) in the atmospheric locales of Georgia. In The Orchard, with his graceful eloquence, Stepakoff weaves a seamless love story that is both delectable and thoroughly enjoyable.

As the rising star and the ultimate career girl who develops aromas and tastes for a major Atlanta-based company, Grace Lyndon's world is dominated by perfumes and flavors. She leads an independent life, spending all her energy to develop exclusive scents and flavors extracted from all over the world. While she has no man in her life Grace evades going on dates set up by her friends. She has no qualms about being single largely due to the fact that she is committed to her passion - her job. Besides, she hardly ever has the time.

When Grace picks up and tastes an exquisite apple, she falls in love with the flavor from the first bite. Determined to track down the apple's origin, Grace sets off at night on a journey that brings her to a lush orchard which belongs to Dylan Jackson, a widowed single father. Dylan is still silently suffering from the loss of her loving wife. Since his wife's demise, Dylan has dedicated his life's work on raising his feisty kid named Carter and tending to his North Georgia apple farm.

After their rather dramatic first meeting, Grace and Dylan become fast friends conspicuously ignoring the sparks felt by each other's presence. Gradually, the bond between Grace and Dylan develops into a rather fragile relationship with Grace tied up to her career and Dylan chained to his past and the memories of his wife.

With its beautifully constructed plot, this novel will win you over on many levels.
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