Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Orchard by Theresa Weir

The Orchard. A Memoir by Theresa Weir

City girl, Theresa Weir reinvents herself when she falls in love with a local apple farmer at age 21, whose orchard is supposedly cursed.  She grows up despised by her mother, abandoned by her father and she ends up trying to survive by working in her uncle's bar in Burlington, Iowa when cute farm boy, Adrian Curtis walks in the door.  Her uncle warns her to stay away from Adrian but she is drawn to him like a bee to honey.

She marries Adrian after a short courtship and expects to have found a loving family.  Instead she finds herself rejected as white trash and never accepted in the family.  Theresa's in-laws despise her and run their apple farm with a hard hand.  They spray herbicides and pesticides on the apple trees to protect them from the codling moth.  Adrian comes home reeking of chemicals, the smell and taste of it is everywhere.  The apple farm has been in the Curtis family for generations and their farm practices are slowly ruining the land and making people sick.

The Orchard is a powerful page-turning memoir.  From the very first page I was hooked and could not put the book down.  The Orchard is shocking, raw and true, and I will never look at another apple in the same way again.  In many ways The Orchard is a fairy tale gone horribly wrong, from the wicked mother in-law to the poisoned apple, readers will hope for the happy ending.

Theresa Weir aka "Anne Frasier" is a well known mystery and romance writer, although this is the first book I have read of hers.  Theresa details a difficult and genuine time of her life with grace and wit.  Don't let the cover deceive you, The Orchard is an unforgettable story that will possible change your perceptions about farming.  I am adding The Orchard to my list of the best books I have read in 2012.  It is thought-provoking, timely and necessary for all to read if you care about the food you eat and the world we live in.