The Blue Orchard: Book summary and reviews of The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor

The Blue Orchard

A Novel

by Jackson Taylor

The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor X
The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2010
    416 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

On the eve of the Great Depression, Verna Krone, the child of Irish immigrants, must leave the eighth grade and begin working as a maid to help support her family. Her employer takes inappropriate liberties, and as Verna matures, it seems as if each man she meets is worse than the last. Through sheer force of will and a few chance encounters, she manages to teach herself to read and becomes a nurse. But Verna's new life falls to pieces when she is arrested for assisting a black doctor with "illegal surgeries." As the media firestorm rages, Verna reflects on her life while awaiting trial.

Based on the life of the author's own grandmother and written after almost three hundred interviews with those involved in the real-life scandal, The Blue Orchard is as elegant and moving as it is exact and convincing. It is a dazzling portrayal of the changes America underwent in the first fifty years of the twentieth century. Readers will be swept into a time period that in many ways mirrors our own. Verna Krone's story is ultimately a story of the indomitable nature of the human spirit - and a reminder that determination and self-education can defy the deforming pressures that keep women and other disenfranchised groups down.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In this powerful, vivid debut novel, Taylor parses issues of race, power, and religion in unflinching terms while believably inhabiting the mind of a conflicted woman. " - Publishers Weekly

"The Blue Orchard held me in its spell. Taylor is a master storyteller and his novel is riveting, substantial, and unforgettable." - Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed

"[Taylor] illuminates the thorny ways of class, race, and gender. This is an amazing book." - Marie Ponsot, National Book Critics Circle award winner and author of Springing and Easy

The information about The Blue Orchard shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Simultaneous hardcover & paperback release.

Jackson Taylor is the Associate Director of The New School's Graduate Writing Program, which he helped launch, and where he teaches. For more than fifteen years he has been the Director of The Prison Writing Program at PEN American Center. His short fiction has appeared in Spit, Pink, Moss and Punk, and his poems have appeared in Lit, Sleeping Fish, Witness, and others. For three years he worked at The New York Times in the Culture, Arts and Leisure, and the National desks. He holds a BA from Columbia and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. He lives in Manhattan and Greenport.

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