Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Orchard.. a memoir by Theresa Weir

This is one of the loveliest books I have ever read, it reaches into the very heart of the word love and exemplifies its meaning with an unbelievable depth of understanding.
When Theresa Weir met and married Adrian Curtis, neither knew each other with any real awareness of the nuances of the big and little things that make a person the whole. Young, both from from dysfunctional but very different backgrounds, they met and married with a storm of displeasure ringing in their ears. Adrian`s mother Ruth is one of the saddest most evil people you will ever meet, while his father his so icy and forbidding, that in all the years he knows Theresa he barely speaks ten sentences to her until he is dying and an unimaginable but delightful warmth emerges, there are many engaging characters, all drawn to reflect their various backgrounds, outlooks and agendas, most reflect in the light of the time that this book is set in and their values would not be very different from those our parents held. Suppression of spirit is a very powerful thing and it runs through this book like a river. Going back and forth from Theresa`s childhood it weaves a tale that real boggles the mind if for nothing but the self centred characters of Theresa`s parents, her father leaves early and her mother is disengaged to the point of being dangerous, neither gives two hoots for their children but even for the bleakness of the endless succession of  men dragged through the children`s lives this part of the book as some truly laugh out laugh moments.
Adrian is the heir in waiting to Curtis Orchards, his families long established business and it is here that Adrian and Theresa from a very shakey start build the most tender and remarkable love and understanding. Determined to do a better job of parenting than they ever recieved, they succeed in raising their two children to be everything they could have wished to be as they grew up.
Curtis Orchards is like a prevading ghost with its secrets, its pesticides, its gorgeous apples and its constant battle to defeat nature, in truth it is only Theresa and Adrian who really appreciate the gift and the power that is nature and realise that they will not be the winners.
This is a book that teaches you an awful lot..but not in a heavy way, the authors magical use of language and her vivid descriptions are a delight. Her descriptions of death and dying are some of the most powerful I have ever read.
Theresa Weir has written a book that is a testimony to the power of love and the fact that when coupled with understanding and compassion, it can move mountains, resilience and a never say die attitude go along way as well, a long with a lack of bitterness, no resentment and the ability to stay true to yourself.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I loved this book too! I still think of it quite often. I was in the grocery store the other day and thought about it and wondered why anyone buys produce that's not organic. Your review is great!!