by Jeffrey Stepakoff

July 2011
ISBN: 978-0312581596
Reviewer Graphic Button Thomas Dunne Books

When this book arrived to be reviewed, I thought to myself “Well, this sounds nice – I hope someone decides to read it.” And then I opened the book - and fell heart-first into an amazing story.

Grace Lynden is a rising star in the world of perfume – creating some of the most evocative scents on the market. Her success is marred by the old-world culture of the industry, which does not allow her creative genius to be appreciated. She makes a bold decision to return to Atlanta and immerse herself in the world of flavors. She is a dynamic work-obsessed executive with no social life. With a nose for scents and how they relate to flavor, Grace is stopped dead in her tracks by an apple. Finding the source of this particular apple will change her life.

Culpepper Farms has been in Dylan Jackson’s family for several generations. The organic apple farm may not be large, but the quality of fruit is unmistakable. Dylan spends an inordinate amount of time communing with his trees, learning what they need and when it is the perfect time to harvest his apples. A widower, he devotes the rest of his time to his daughter, Carter. He is not ready for someone like Grace to storm into his life and turn everything upside down.

The Orchard is a rich, evocative story about two people destined to fall in love. The author, Jeffrey Stepakoff, brings his experience as a screenwriter to novels with outstanding results. The story is so visual, rendered skillfully in such a way that readers can almost smell the fruit, stand in the orchard and see Grace and Dylan in person. If you don’t read any other books this summer, read The Orchard.

Reviewed in June 2011 by Paula.

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