Susan McCloskey has worked at Bookshop Santa Cruz since graduating from UCSC in 2000. She is the former Event Coordinator at Bookshop and continues to consult for the store. In her other life, she is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She believes in story, and loves the meld of working with books, narrative, and people.
Just released in paperback, this novel stands as one of my favorite reads of all time. That is not a title I offer lightly, but the reverence that this novel holds makes it deserving of such status.
There are few books that leave me in silence—that deep felt silence of profound experience like a cathedral or a sudden clearing among high trees. The Orchadist is a book that once read becomes sacred. The story starts in the late 1800’s in upper state Washington. In an orchard a solitary man, broken but slowly healing, lives and tends to his land when unexpectedly two girls show up—they are vigilant and slightly feral—and he offers them shelter. The events that unfold are rooted and startling. The setting, the language, and the depth of each character will take hold. There will be quiet moments of profound love, and equal moments of deep awe. And there will be grief, at the way hearts open, and families are forged, at the way independence is sought and strength is regained, at the way the seasons bend and move forward, and all that can be learned in surrender and change.