Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Lemon Orchard

Title:  The Lemon Orchard
Author:  Luanne Rice
Publication Information:  Viking, Penguin Group. 2013. 286 pages.

Book Source:  I picked up this book while browsing the new fiction section at my local library.

Favorite Quote:  "Love in any form is still love."

The Lemon Orchard is found at a home in Malibu. It is owned by a California couple and is managed by Roberto, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. Julia, the owner's niece, is house-sitting while her uncle and aunt are in Europe.

A connection develops between Roberto and Julia - they find common ground in their losses. Both have a lost a child although in completely different ways. Julia's teenage daughter died, while Roberto's young daughter was lost never to be found. Julia comes to California looking for some peace and some healing. Roberto is trying to piece his life together and to sustain the hope of finding his daughter. Their shared grief brings Julia and Roberto together.

In this story come descriptions of the desperate path immigrants take to cross the border between the US and Mexico in their search for a better life. It speaks about the immigrants, the middlemen or "coyotes" who promise a crossing, the border patrols, and the harrowing crossing. The story brings us further into this world as Julia delves into the disappearance of Roberto's daughter.

Some aspects of this book are predictable and suitable for a summer beach read - two individuals brought together by circumstances and a unlikely relationship that flourishes. Certain events leading to the conclusion of the book come together too conveniently and in too neat a package. However, what gives the book greater substance is the questions it raises about the immigrant crossing and the immigrant experience.

This is the first book I read by Luanne Rice, and I can see why she has such a loyal following.

No comments:

Post a Comment