By Amanda Coplin
Harper, 2012. 426 pgs. Fiction
In her debut novel, Amanda Coplin follows the life of William Talmadge from the time he is a young boy struggling with the sudden disappearance of his sister through his adult life as a reclusive orchardist living in the Pacific Northwest. The story takes a turn when Talmadge’s quiet and independent life is abruptly interrupted by two pregnant, teenage girls who appear on his property. Just as the skittish girls begin to accept Talmadge’s fatherly love and compassion, evil men come looking for them. In the wake of an unimaginable tragedy, Talmadge must once again pick up the pieces of his life and fight to protect the family he has left.
This book follows multiple characters, and although it's a slow moving novel the change in perspective keeps things interesting. I liked this book, Coplin does a good job of creating complex characters and the complex family relationships that they develop. Set at the turn of the twentieth century, Coplin’s novel is also an interesting examination of a changing culture and what happens to those who cannot change with it. This book is a great read, and will especially appeal to those interested in the American West.