The Orchardist:

A Novel

  • Read by: Mark Bramhall
  • Runtime: 14.5 Hours
  • Recording: Unabridged
  • Release date: 8.21.2012
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • Genre: Fiction/Historical
  • 14.47 hrs8/21/2012Unabridged
  • ISBN-13: 9780062204851

A New York Times Bestseller

A Publishers Weekly Pick of Novels on Women in the Wild

A Publishers Weekly Bestseller

A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction

Selected for the September 2012 Indie Next List

A 2012 Publishers Weekly Best Book for Fiction

A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, August 2012

One of the 2012 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Fiction

A Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Book, August 2012

A 2012 BookPage Best Book for Fiction

A BookPage Book of the Day, September 2012

Winner of the 2012 Barnes & Noble Discover Award

An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2012

Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2012

“[A] mysterious, compelling, elemental novel….In The Orchardist, Amanda Coplin shows us what’s unknowable.”
—Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award finalist, American Salvage

“Within this world are compelling characters and their equally compelling stories. The Orchardist is an outstanding debut.”
—Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena and The Cove

“Coplin is a masterful writer, the teller of an epic, unvarnished tale that sits comfortably with other novels in the tradition of great American storytelling.”
—Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed

At once intimate and epic, The Orchardist is historical fiction at its best, in the grand literary tradition of William Faulkner, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Ondaatje, Annie Proulx, and Toni Morrison. In her stunningly original and haunting debut novel, Amanda Coplin evokes a powerful sense of place, mixing tenderness and violence as she spins an engrossing tale of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and the dramatic consequences of his actions. 

Editorial Reviews

“When you pick up The Orchardist, you will be lured at first by the lushness of the language, the razor-sharp vividness of the descriptive passages. But soon enough—before you’ve finished the first chapter—the characters will take hold of you and you’ll read on hungrily, as if under a spell. It’s hard to believe that this is Amanda Coplin’s first novel. Already, she is a masterful writer, the teller of an epic, unvarnished tale that sits comfortably with other novels in the tradition of great American storytelling.” 

Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author

“Amanda Coplin has depicted her northwestern landscape with such fidelity that readers will know its every sight, smell, and sound. Within this world are compelling characters and their equally compelling stories. The Orchardist is an outstanding debut.”

Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author

“To read this mysterious, compelling, elemental novel is to immerse yourself in the world of an old folk song, in which the passions and sorrows of plain people rage unseen and then blossom as madly (and quietly) as apricot trees. In The Orchardist, Amanda Coplin shows us what’s unknowable.”

Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award and NBCC Award Finalist for Fiction, American Salvage

“Immensely affecting…This eloquent, moving novel concludes on a note of affirmation.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Set in early-twentieth-century Washington State, Coplin’s majestic debut follows a makeshift family through two tragic decades…The novel is so beautifully written, so alive to the magnificence of the land and the intricate mysteries of human nature, that it inspires awe rather than depression. Superb work from an abundantly gifted young writer.” 

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Patiently beautiful, The Orchardist builds its characters and its situations so carefully that the story becomes as real to us as this morning’s news—except that the news it brings us is from many years ago and is more dramatic than anything we might have imagined. I am in awe of Amanda Coplin’s book, which does not feel like a first novel but a life’s work.”

Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love, National Book Award finalist

The Orchardist is like one of its characters: ‘an egg encased in iron’—an elemental story filled with the perfection of the natural world. Nearly everybody in the book compels your admiration, either for their courage or for the heavy work they do, all the time and without complaint, even when wicked men are hunting them. Transfixing. I love this book straight through.” 

Salvatore Scibona, author of the National Book Award finalist The End

“A breathtaking work from a genuinely accomplished writer…Coplin’s lyrical style and forceful storytelling provide many unexpected twists before the poignant conclusion.”

Library Journal

“Coplin’s mesmerizing debut stands out with its depictions of uniquely Western personalities and a stark, gorgeously realized landscape that will settle deeply into readers’ bones…The prose abounds with poetic imagery, and the quotation-mark-free dialogue, which could seem like an affectation in a different type of story, emphasizes the melding of these solitary characters with the vast, wild place they choose to call home.”


“A rare find—this debut novel that reads with masterful authority. Amanda Coplin’s narrative is both stately and passionate—a stunning powerhouse whose assurance and drive convey a fully imagined world, mysteriously compelling in its unsentimental intensity. The Orchardist, like Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, drills into history, portraying an apparently modest American way of life but finally presenting us with a great American elegy.”

Patricia Hampl, author of A Romantic Education

Author Biography

Amanda Coplin was born in Wenatchee, Washington, and raised amid her grandfather’s orchards. She received her BA from the University of Oregon and MFA from the University of Minnesota. A recipient of residencies from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and the Ledig House International Writers Residency Program in Ghent, New York, she currently resides in Portland, Oregon.

Reader Biography

Mark Bramhall has won eighteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been a finalist for the Audiobook Publishers Association’s prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has been named by Publishers Weekly and AudioFile magazine among their “Best Voices of the Year” in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is also an award-winning actor whose acting credits include off-Broadway, regional, and many Los Angeles venues as well as television, animation, and feature films. He has taught and directed at the American Academy of Dramatic Art.

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