Beyond the Orchard reviewed by Tara

beyond-the-orchard

I have something … It will explain everything.

An unexpected letter from an estranged relative stirs up dark feelings that Lucy thought that she had left behind her. Unable to ignore the storm building within, she leaves her perfect life in London to return to the chaos she fled from five years ago. As she confronts her past and uncovers family secrets, Lucy discovers that things are not always as they seemed.

Beyond the Orchard is an intriguing and complex story. It is narrated from several viewpoints and a mixture of dates across one hundred years. It is as if significant people keep interrupting Lucy’s story to add their perspective. The reader is tossed between the present and critical incidents in the past. This technique illustrates that things are not always being as they seem, and results in a layering of information that subtly leads to the final unveiling.

There were moments, as I was scrolling back through the chapters to refresh my memory, when I wished I was reading a paperback copy instead of an eBook. I find it easier to flick back through pages. Despite this I couldn’t help scrolling forward, screen by screen, to discover the shadows that haunted Lucy.

Lucy’s journey to uncover the truth illustrates the way each person interprets events through their own perspective. As she gathers the individual memories she begins to piece together her family history, gain a more broader insight into significant events and bring closure to herself and her father.

One of the key themes are that things are not always as they seem. Beyond the Orchard is an interesting representation of the complexities of human relationships and family dynamics. It explores different reactions to stress and trauma and the domino effect that sudden shocks have in relationships, often triggering unexpected and uncontrollable reactions in those around us.

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