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Book of the Month

A reason to read....

A sweeping and compelling new novel from best-selling author Tracy Chevalier.



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At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

The new novel from the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring. 'Dark, brutal, moving, powerful' Jane Harris 'A wonderful book; rich, evocative, original. I loved it' Joanne Harris What happens when you can't run any further from your past? Ohio, 1838.

James and Sadie Goodenough have settled in the Black Swamp, planting apple trees to claim the land as their own. Life is harsh in the swamp, and as fever picks off their children, husband and wife take solace in separate comforts. James patiently grows his sweet-tasting 'eaters' while Sadie gets drunk on applejack made fresh from 'spitters'.

Their fighting takes its toll on all of the Goodenoughs - a battle that will resonate over the years and across America. Fifteen years later their youngest son, Robert, is drifting through Goldrush California and haunted by the broken family he fled years earlier. Memories stick to him where mud once did.

When he finds steady work for a plant collector, peace seems finally to be within reach. But the past is never really past, and one day Robert is forced to confront the brutal reason he left behind everything he loved. In this rich, powerful story, Tracy Chevalier is at her imaginative best, bringing to life the urge to wrestle with our roots, however deep and tangled they may be.

Meet the Author - Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier is the author of seven novels, including Burning Bright, Remarkable Creatures, The Lady and the Unicorn and The Last Runaway. Girl with a Pearl Earring is an international bestseller and was longlisted for the Orange Prize in 2000.

Born in Washington DC, in 1962, the youngest of 3 children, her father worked as a photographer for The Washington Post. She studied at Oberin College, Ohio, graduating with a BA in English in 1984 before moving to London where she worked as a reference book editor. In 1993 she began to study for a Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and while there began work on her first novel The Virgin Blue. The book was chosen by W H Smith for their showcase of new authors and Chevalier continued to experience success when, in 1999, she completed Girl With a Pearl Earring which went on to sell 4 million copies worldwide and was made into an Academy-Award nominated film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. While her last novel, published in 2013, The Last Runaway was awarded the Ohioana Book Award.

Chevalier continues to write and remains in London where she lives with her husband Jonathan Drori and son Jacob.

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