The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli ~ Review


A beautiful story of forgiveness, heartache, faith, and sisters. 

A dual timeline story that follows Taylor Bennett a best-selling author in the present day, returning home after her adoptive mother's cancer diagnosis, to her complicated relationship with her sister and the aftermath of their rift 18 years ago. Together they attempt to heal what was broken, and exploring the rich history of Concord's Orchard House the home of Little Women author Lousia May Alcott and for a short time her friend, poet Johanna Bancroft.

A compelling and emotionally evocative read, with raw realistic characters that tug at your heart. Though a split time novel it is weighted more in favor of the present day relationship between sisters Taylor and Victoria, as they research the life of Johanna, while unraveling the threads of their own relationship. 

I'm new to this author, and I wasn't sure about how I would feel about it as I am always a little weary of time split novels, but it pulled me in with its winsome characters and captivating writing style, that had me loathe to put it down. The author expertly weaves the two stories together, and I found myself equally drawn to both stories, and appreciated the ease with which they flowed from one to the other. I loved seeing Louisa through the eyes of a friend, and it helped me to understand how counter cultural she was for her time. 

Overall, a skillfully written novel, well researched with characters that leap from the page, well realized in their flawed humanity. The author deftly deals with many difficult topics, infusing them with a call towards faith and forgiveness. I was riveted to the page and didn't want to put it down. I highly recommend this gorgeous and emotionally compelling read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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