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Book review – The Blue Orchard

The  Blue Orchard is a novel, written by Jackson Taylor in 2010. The title caught my eye on the shelf at the library so I read it. Wally Lamb was quoted on the cover: “Taylor is a master storyteller and his novel is riveting, substantial  and unforgettable.”  Since I have enjoyed, She’s Come Undone  & I Know This Much Is True   I appreciated his opinion. Based on the life of the author’s own grandmother and written after almost three hundred interviews with those involved in the real-life scandal.

I found this book interesting on a number of levels. The image of poverty as a life-style was eye opening and very humanizing. I can’t imagine being forced to leave home to start a new life working for strangers. The treatment of the molestation and the events that followed were handled in such a matter of fact kind of way. I was very engaged in her life and times and the perception with which it was written. The  later years as a white woman working for a black doctor was interesting picture of race relations of the time. Which leaves us with the long history of abortion – with the moral questions and the risk medical people took to keep the woman safe. For me, it was a fascinating read.