Friday, 31 October 2014

The Orchard by Theresa Weir

The Orchard by Theresa Weir
   In preparation for our book club discussion of "The Orchard", I have been thinking about the different covers.  I love this cover, because it centres on the love story that is at the 'core' of the novel.  The orchard surrounds the couple and there is a swirling design around the page.  Does that represent the pesticides?  There seem to be nozzles at the top and bottom.  If so, it may to be showing the illusion of the perfect orchard.  The reality is that the pesticides are killing not only fish and plants, but people also.  But this novel has a fairy tale quality with the aspect of magic and enchantment.  As you read this book, you hope for the happy ending, but know that it cannot happen.
  The author admits to have written the book in order to illuminate environmental concerns. But this is actually her biography.  She did live on an orchard and speaks of the farming practices in 1996.

   This second cover presents only the story of the apple, but you can see that the apple is not going to be eatable.  Perhaps this cover is more simple and profound.  However, it is the personal story that I was drawn to and this cover doesn't nearly represent the book as I experienced it.
  Concerns about chemicals are not new. In 1962, Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" really caused a 'stir'.  She wrote in a very different fashion.  From her experience as a marine biologist, she wrote facts and really attacked the use of DDT.  The chemical industry spent 1/4 million dollars to discredit her and her research.  However, the then-president of the U.S.- John F. Kennedy paid attention and ordered investigations, which led to the banning of DDT.  This was called 'the book that changed the world'. Part of this article is shown here.  Unfortunately, the middle of the story is missing.

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