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Find out what Mumsnetters thought of At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

(80 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 04-Oct-16 16:10:56

From the bestselling author of The Girl with a Pearl Earring, comes a compelling tale of secrets and survival.

Set in 1830s midwestern America, Tracy Chevalier's new novel follows a pioneer family torn apart in their struggle to live off the land. We've got 50 copies of At the Edge of the Orchard to give away so apply for yours now.

We ask all winners to share their thoughts about the book on this discussion thread. You don't have to win a free copy to take part in the discussion - anyone who has read At the Edge of the Orchard can post their feedback (and you can buy a copy now)

Everyone who posts feedback about the book on this discussion by 22 November will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.

This giveaway is sponsored by HarperCollins

highlandcoo Wed 05-Oct-16 21:51:02

I really enjoyed The Last Runaway, so hoping to be lucky and get a copy of this latest novel.

Panicmode1 Sat 22-Oct-16 11:33:55

Very excited that my copy has just landed on the doormat...off to start reading!

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Sat 22-Oct-16 11:38:43

ooh, just arrived here too - guess the housework can wait a few days wink

Clawdy Sat 22-Oct-16 13:00:40

So pleased when it arrived this morning, looking forward to reading it!

katiebasey Wed 26-Oct-16 12:42:27

Just started reading, guess the housework will be put on hold

busymummy0411 Thu 27-Oct-16 12:26:18

I received this on Saturday, just before taking the kids away for a few days at the beginning of half term, so perfect timing. I have read a book by this author before and was not disappointed in this, its well written, moves along without being rushed and is a well crafted story. I don't know much about this time period but was able to imagine it well due to the details.

VicKWhish Sat 05-Nov-16 10:59:20

I really loved this book despite it being largely concerned with a monstrous wife and mother, Sadie Goodenough. She is a horrible, tragic figure who is driven to addiction to 'jack' a type of liquor distilled from apples which her and her husband, James grow in the Ohio black swamp in the 19th century. James is obsessed with growing enough good apples to keep the family afloat despite the harsh conditions but is thwarted by his ambition and the 'bad apple'; Sadie.
The landscape is brilliantly evoked and the family's struggle for survival is gripping. Grab a mug of mulled apple juice or cider and be transported to a time and place which you'll be thankful not to have endured! brew

DorothyGherkins Mon 07-Nov-16 15:25:38

Cant tell you how thrilled I was to receive a proper hard back book! Thank you very much. I loved some of Tracy Chevaliers other books so reading with interest.

PeppaTheFirst Mon 07-Nov-16 23:33:19

I like Chevalier as an author and knew I would be getting a really well constructed narrative. To be honest though, I found the pace almost tediously slow - particularly at the beginning. However, rather than enjoying the stately pace and watching events slowly unfold (as I usually would with this author), I became a bit frustrated with this novel. This was perhaps compounded by the lack of sympathetic characters. However, I realised that this frustration was partly because the characters are themselves frustrated, which adds to a claustrophobic feeling she creates in places. The pace picks up with the surprise addition of letters at various points in the novel and I felt more empathy with the characters as the novel progressed. Chevalier paints a picture of life in Black Swamp as a real slog - bleak, tragic and incredibly vivid. Not my favourite of hers, but incredibly well written none-the-less.

queenoftheschoolrun Tue 08-Nov-16 22:26:54

I really enjoyed this book. It was very slow at the beginning, deliberately so to reflect the environment in which the family live. The characters and their lives are tedious until the dramatic ending of the first part of the book. Then, the series of letters raises questions about how the children's lives have subsequently unfolded and the reader is well and truly hooked. A very well crafted novel, you are in safe hands with this author. Thanks for my free copy.

glenka Thu 10-Nov-16 07:24:07

This is not usually the kind of book I read but I might give it a go.

amyhalliday1 Thu 10-Nov-16 07:27:13

I found it really moving and sad

vonniebab2 Thu 10-Nov-16 08:14:48

I shall give this book a go not my usual reading but sounds intriguing!

mo3733 Thu 10-Nov-16 08:38:14

i found this book quite emotionally challenging but the fact that it moved me so much proves how well it is written

jandoc Thu 10-Nov-16 09:03:55

I haven't started reading it yet but I hope to get to it soon.

janeyf1 Thu 10-Nov-16 09:05:48

Looking forward to reading this story, full of history and drama - an important novel

juju3 Thu 10-Nov-16 09:22:27

I just love historical novels and this did not dissappoint

hiddenmichelle Thu 10-Nov-16 10:12:53

I did not really like this book. It was very slow and not enough happening to keep me interested. I gave up half way through

AngelwingsPetlamb Thu 10-Nov-16 11:10:53

I borrowed this book from my library because I've read several other Tracy Chevalier books previously and whilst not always a quick easy read, they often depict the struggles of women, often living in times where choices are limited.
This book was not my favourite, it was a hard read and a slow read a bit like the life I was reading about. The frustrations of the couple come through to the reader and apples symbolise different things to the husband and wife.
It would be a good book for discussion in a reading group.

jazzitup Thu 10-Nov-16 11:35:20

Can't wait to get my teeth in to this one

jacqui5366 Thu 10-Nov-16 11:49:26

I really enjoyed this book. It was very slow at the beginning, i found this book quite emotionally challenging. The landscape is well described and the family's struggle for survival is gripping. Grab a glass of mulled apple juice or cider and I was transported to a time and place which I was thankful not to have lived.

soph0077 Thu 10-Nov-16 12:04:34

This book was quite emotionally hard to read and it really makes you count your blessings. Would highly recommend though!

Doodygirl2009 Thu 10-Nov-16 12:21:29

I haven't read it yet but I'm hoping to receive this book for xmas as I've put it on my list

iut044 Thu 10-Nov-16 12:30:32

I enjoyed reading it .

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