The Blue Orchard
I can't remember the last time a tale of fiction grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I finished The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor over a week ago and it still haunts me during those quiet moments of my day. What drew me in to say 'yes' to reviewing this book was that it is a tale of a nurse in pre-Roe America who is arrested for performing illegal abortions. On top of that, The Blue Orchard is a fictionalized tale of Taylor's own grandmother.
But I have to tell you that I forgot that last fact while reading. I was so consumed by the ups and far too many downs of Verna Krone that I simply forgot she really did walk this earth. The Blue Orchard is a painful tale of a young girl's hope to find her place in the world, only to have too many decisions made for her that ultimately result in heartbreak. The story is far too delicate than I could ever express.
I will certainly be suggesting The Blue Orchard the next time my book group needs to pick a title. Not only is the issue of abortion discussed, but also gender roles, race, class, motherhood, and even a great dose of local politics. Oh, did I love the local politics angle!