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Thursday, July 21, 2011
The Orchard by Jeffrey Stepakoff
The Orchard by Jeffrey Stepakoff
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (July 5, 2011)
The passionate new novel by the author of FIREWORKS OVER TOCCOA.
Grace Lyndon is a rising ingenue in the world of perfumes and flavors; a stiletto-wearing, work-a-holic in Atlanta, she develops aromas and tastes to enthrall the senses. Dylan Jackson is a widowed single father whose heart and hands have been calloused in the fields of his North Georgia apple farm. When Grace happens to taste an apple picked from Dylan’s trees, it changes both their lives forever.
Determined to track down the apple’s origin, Grace sets off in the middle of the night where she finds not only a beautiful mountain orchard in the clouds, but the mysterious man who owns it. In Stepakoff’s heartbreaking eloquence, their sudden yet undeniable attraction is threatened—leaving readers with a momentous finale that proves Jeffrey Stepakoff is a master craftsman of the heart.
One of my favorite memories as a child is going to pick apples every fall. I will never forget the smells and tastes of the orchard. There is nothing like picking a fresh apple off the tree and biting into it.
When I saw Jeffrey Stepakoff's new book was titled The Orchard, I knew with my love of orchards and apple picking, it was a must read for me. His first book Fireworks Over Toccoa is a wonderful love story that I enjoyed very much. I was anxious to read Mr. Stepakoff's newest book.
The main character, Grace Lyndon is a confident woman who is always in control. I admired her confidence. Grace is a real go-getter. She is a savvy business woman. She develops scents and flavors for major companies and their products. I had never really given much thought to such a job but found myself immersed in learning more about this position. Jeffrey Stepakoff does a fantastic job explaining Grace's job and all it involved. I found it fascinating. I'll never look at scents and flavors the same again.
When Grace tries to track down an exquisite apple's origin, she runs into Dylan Jackson, owner of an apple orchard and his spunky daughter, Carter. Carter is a curious pre-teen who is wise beyond her years. Dylan is a widower, who is not quite ready to give up his deceased wife. The father/daughter relationship between these two is very endearing. Grace wants to research the apples on the family orchard for product development. Dylan is not ready to let anyone in his life or his orchard.
Mr. Stepakoff's writing had me imagining I was in the orchard where I could almost smell and taste the apples. I never knew so much went into growing apples. His writing is wonderfully descriptive. You will almost be able to hear the apple leaves rustling in the breeze. Even though I have never been to the mountains of Georgia, I had no problems picturing them in my mind.
Jeffrey Stepakoff has once again written a beautifully layered love story that builds as it goes along. I am amazed at the amount of research that must have went into this story. It made for a interesting story. I highly recommend this book. I found it romantic and enlightening. I'll be on the lookout for Mr. Stepakoff's next book.
About The Author
JEFFREY STEPAKOFF has written for more than a dozen different television series, including the Emmy-winning The Wonder Years, Sisters, and Dawson's Creek, for which he was co-executive producer. Author of the acclaimed novel, Fireworks Over Toccoa, he has also developed and written plays, TV pilots and major motion pictures, including Disney's Tarzan and Brother Bear. Stepakoff holds a BA in Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and three young children. His fiction is published in six languages.
I received this book for my honest opinion from the book's publicist