Review: THE ORCHARD by D. L. Hayden


THE ORCHARD

D L Hayden

AAMZ PUBLISHING CO.

COPYRIGHT: 2010

ISBN: 978-0-9829364-0-5

$16.95

309 pages

Reviewer: DOROTHY FRANCIS

If you enjoy identifying with strong story heroines, you’ll like spunky Helen Faulkner in “The Orchard.” Cheers to the author for doing a great job of bringing Helen to life on the printed page. And another cheer for his ability to create and build suspense throughout the tale. I read this book carefully once, then scanned it a second time. Even during the second reading I found myself gasping in surprise as the plot twists increased in a way that upped the suspense to a new level.

The plot revolves around Helen, her top level job at Beeson International, and her growing dislike of her boss, Howard Jenkins. When she’s seriously injured in a fall down a stairwell, she thinks it was an accident. Later, as she recovers and her mind clears, she concludes that someone pushed her. Who? She doesn’t know. Instead of informing the police and perhaps being unable to prove her feelings, she tries to find the culprit herself. Her search for this person shows her stamina, her many abilities, and her determination. She succeeds in discovering that her boss and his underlings plan to rob the company and that they are setting her up as the patsy. I’m not going to spoil your read by revealing the book’s ending. Enjoy the author’s surprise. It will keep you thinking long after you’ve closed the book.

What kind of an orchard did Helen love so much? Apple? Peach? Pear? Readers need specific terms and sensory details in order to see the orchard scenes. The author supplied those details and showed his ability to bring a scene to life when he mentioned her boyfriend, Matt Walker’s, gift of long stemmed yellow roses rather than merely writing a bouquet of flowers. Also, specifying bonsai and sycamore instead of merely writing trees brought those passages into sharp focus.

At times the cast of 15 characters threatened to overwhelm me. Instead of a prologue, this reader would have appreciated a front page listing of all characters along with each character’s function in the story. Sometimes readers become confused if a character has both a first and last name that the author uses interchangeably.

The viewpoint shifted in places where the author needed it to shift. For the most part, he handled this well, but now and then I had to reread a passage to be sure who was in charge. Breaks other than chapter breaks helped the reader keep track of viewpoint changes.

The formatting of the pages made the reading easy on the eyes—fairly large print with a blank space between paragraphs. Enjoy your time with Helen Faulkner as she takes you to her orchard.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION

I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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