The Promise of Pierson Orchard by Kate Brandes

Why did I choose this book?

The cover is lovely, and the book falls into my favorite genre: realistic, contemporary fiction. I was lucky enough to score an advance copy!

How was the pacing?

The Promise of Pierson Orchard is a book I tore right through, on the edge of my seat as I was reading. The story was fast-paced from beginning to end. It is a family drama with heart and meaning.

What's the story about?

A multi-generational family finds themselves conflicted as they debate the best future for their land and orchard when Green Energy offers to lease property in their town, promising financial relief, but also bringing the risks of drilling for natural gas: destruction of the land they love. I consider myself a friend of the environment, so the story appealed to me. At the same time, I appreciated that the story was not a one-sided, predictable description of the damage done by drilling. Instead, it was a balanced telling of both sides of the story. It was thought-provoking and well done.

What did I like best about the story?

My favorite aspect of the book was the family tension. Sibling relationships and rivalries make for very strong storytelling. Add in a love triangle, and you’ve got me hooked!

Jack was my favorite character. I love strong, brooding leading men. I related to his suffering and felt his abandonment (by both his wife and his mother, at different times in his life). I don’t know if finding solace through violence is an exclusively American concept, but when Jack fought, I felt like I understood why he was doing it.  

Overall take-away?

It was a very smart, enjoyable read! I’ll remember this story a long time.

Find out more about Kate Brandes on her Web Site: http://www.katebrandes.com

2017 Debut NovelSandi Ward