I ordered a pair that looked like the closest available thing---and less than an hour after they arrived, I was standing in line at FedEx to return them. They were like walking around in a pair of watermelons, except drier.
When I first tried a Cadbury ice cream bar, I thought, "This is just like Dove! But less expensive! Yay!" But just now, I ate the last of the Cadbury ice cream bars and still wanted more ice cream bar, so I ate a Dove ice cream bar right after it---and I liked the Dove way less. I preferred not only the Cadbury chocolate but also the Cadbury ice cream. It was surprising.
This will require further testing: I'll need to eat the two kinds in the opposite order, too.
|(photo from Amazon.com)|
I saw The Orchardist on the New shelf at the library and thought it looked promising (nice quiet orchard, two young pregnant girls softening the heart of hermit), but then I got to the part of the book jacket where it says "...men arrive in the orchard with guns, and the shattering tragedy that follows will...." So, okay, no thank you.
Then a couple of bloggers recommended it, so FINE. I read it. I really liked it. It is the kind of book that makes me wish wistfully/unrealistically for the old-style life (satisfying manual labor, not having or needing many possessions, cooking simple meals, etc.)---and simultaneously makes me strongly appreciate NOT having to live that life (hard manual labor, not having many possessions, outhouses, laundry in the river, 2-day trip to get to another town, orphans getting sold to whorehouses, people dying all the time of normal things like illness and childbirth, etc.).
There is indeed a tragedy in the orchard, but it helps to be prepared for it. When the men showed up with guns, I quickly leafed ahead and got the gist of it, and then kind of skimmed. It's not gory, just sad. I was more bothered by the parts where the author could have told us what happened to a character (before or after they appear in the story) but chose not to. I got the message that in real life, the hardest part can be the not-knowing---but I'm familiar with that concept already, which is why when it's fiction and I CAN know, I WANT to know.
I didn't entirely love it. There was a lot of time spent on Della, and I couldn't understand the way her mind worked at all; she never made sense to me. Or sometimes characters did things that didn't seem to me to fit with what we knew of them so far. Or sometimes the drama was so underplayed, I couldn't figure out what had happened. And there are no quotation marks. And sometimes the author seems to lose herself a bit in the beauty of her own words.
I feel like what happened is that the author had about ten books' worth of story and had to make it fit into one volume. I would love if eventually there was an entire book for every character: one book about Caroline Middey, one about Elspeth/Elsbeth (I returned the book so can't check the spelling), one about Clee/Cree (why don't I remember which it is?), one about Angelene's adulthood. I really wanted MUCH MUCH MORE of this book.