By Diane Sheckells
EAST KINGSTON —Of Apples and Oranges - A number of new titles in fiction have arrived this fall at the East Kingston Public Library. In this season of local apple picking two very different novels stand out that celebrate the land. The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin and the Forgetting Tree by Tatajana Soli are both stories that are born of family tragedy and loss. The setting for both is the west coast but the cultivation of apples and oranges are worlds apart. The sensual quality of the land is so well drawn in each book. The orchards almost stand as unique characters in the stories themselves.
The Orchardist homesteads virgin land, rich soil and a world of quiet contemplation. The Forgetting Tree wrestles an Eden out of the desert with the blessing of water. Coplin's first novel introduces the reader to a truly ethical man who quietly tends his trees and the makeshift family he tries to protect.
In The Forgetting Tree we meet Minna, the quicksilver caretaker for the family matriarch; a character at once complex and possibly evil. We witness the dance of an abusive relationship that exists between patient and caregiver. Both Coplin's and Soli's stories speak of guilt and forgiveness, the love of the land and the fire of grace.
Both of these books would offer a springboard to discussion for any book group. There is nothing better than finding a bright new light or two on the fiction landscape. Our book group is reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. We meet Wed., October 17 at 7:00 p.m. We have copies of the book available or if you have already read it, why not join us!
For more information, call 603-642-8333 or visit their website at www.eastkingstonlibrary.org.