Theresa Weir's The Orchard is a memoir chronicling the life of a family/marriage/woman on an apple orhard farm. I have read reviews claiming this book was depressing yet I found the writing amazing.
Weir marries Adrian Curtis, a bachelor farmer who is busy on his family's apple orchard. The two are young, knowing little about each other and at first their newfound marriage flounders. To add stress to their fragile relationship, Weir's new mother-in-law is unhappy with her son's selection of a mate, and does nothing to welcome this new member to the family. Coming from a farming community, I already knew that life on a farm is hard, and Weir reiterates that as Adrian sleeps little, working long hours to make a go of this life. Just as happens in most lives, years pass, children are born, ups and downs weathered. Although Weir was originally warned by her uncle and others in the community that the Curtis farm is cursed, she is undeterred from marrying Adrian, and despite the many hardships they face throughout their lives the two find a compatibility and partnership in their marriage.
Weir's memoir is one that I sighed over as I closed the book. I became easily lost in her story, loving the way in which she wrote about this farming life. While the setting is their apple orchard, I still felt this novel was not so much a chronological retelling of the goings on, but a reflection on the different events in her life that led her to this place and the relationships and events that shaped her life as Adrian Curtis' wife.