“Based on the author’s real-life grandmother, a child of the Great Depression and a nurse for an African-American abortion physician in the 1950’s, this novel beautifully captures the voice of a woman torn between ethics and money, personal integrity and social acceptance. I read this twice (something I rarely-to-never do), and must say it was the best literature I read in all of 2010.
I passed The Blue Orchard along to my own grandma, also a nurse and child of the Great Depression, and she enjoyed it as well. I thought it was particularly funny that after about 45 minutes of talking about Jackson Taylor’s grandma, I had to say to myself and grandma, ‘Enough! We’re talking about this woman like we know her; like we’re pals. She’s someone we’ve never even met.’ My grandma laughed, agreed, and said that it hadn’t been since Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses that she felt like she knew someone so well through the pages of a single book.