Book Review, Contemporary, Historical

Book Review – The Orchard House

The Orchard House

by Heidi Chiavaroli

Two women, one living in present day Massachusetts and another in Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House soon after the Civil War, overcome their own personal demons and search for a place to belong.

2001
Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott’s historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it feels like Taylor is finally finding her place and some stability . . . until Victoria’s betrayal changes everything.

1865
While Louisa May Alcott is off traveling the world, Johanna Suhre accepts a job tending Louisa’s aging parents and their home in Concord. Soon after arriving at Orchard House, Johanna meets Nathan Bancroft and, ignoring Louisa’s words of caution, falls in love and accepts Nathan’s proposal. But before long, Johanna experiences her husband’s dark side, and she can’t hide the bruises that appear.

2019
After receiving news of Lorraine Bennett’s cancer diagnosis, Taylor knows she must return home to see her adoptive mother again. Now a successful author, Taylor is determined to spend little time in Concord. Yet she becomes drawn into the story of a woman who lived there centuries before. And through her story, Taylor may just find forgiveness and a place to belong.

My Thoughts

I found in the pages of The Orchard House a story i didn’t even know I needed to hear.
This amazing story, one that started out a bit slowly for me at first, has a tremendous lesson, and it spoke to something deep within me.
Taylor was adopted as a young teen, by her best friend’s family. But she was never sure she truly belonged. She spent many years in doubt, and when she experiences a terrible betrayal and heartbreak, she left behind that family. She was very much a character I could identify with. Because, deep down, I think if we’re honest, all of us are searching for a place of truly belonging.
I’d like to share this quote that sums it up so well:
“I think perhaps that I have been looking all these years for some thing that was not so far away. And no, I did not mean (name hidden to prevent spoiler), for he too will no doubt eventually fail in his own way. I am talking about a bigger place to belong – – in the arms of One who not only tells me not to fear, but who, in the midst of my failures, has loved me and given me a worth beyond measure. In this, I find both liberty and home – – two things I once thought opposites but I now see are not so very different.”

Taylor is the modern day heroine. This book also goes back to the past, to the days of Louisa May Alcott. As a longtime fan of Little Women, I greatly enjoyed reading more about her life.

I found in the pages of The Orchard House a story i didn’t even know I needed to hear.
This amazing story, one that started out a bit slowly for me at first, has a tremendous lesson, and it spoke to something deep within me.
Taylor was adopted as a young teen, by her best friend’s family. But she was never sure she truly belonged. She spent many years in doubt, and even left behind her family because of those fears of not truly belonging. She was very much a character I could identify with. Because, deep down, I think if we’re honest, all of us are searching for a place of truly belonging.
I’d like to share this quote that sums it up so well:
“I think perhaps that I have been looking all these years for some thing that was not so far away. And no, I did not mean (name hidden to prevent spoiler), for he too will no doubt eventually fail in his own way. I am talking about a bigger place to belong – – in the arms of One who not only tells me not to fear, but who, in the midst of my failures, has loved me and given me a worth beyond measure. In this, I find both liberty and home – – two things I once thought opposites but I now see are not so very different.”

Taylor is the modern day heroine. This book also goes back to the past, to the days of Louisa May Alcott. As a longtime fan of Little Women, I greatly enjoyed reading more about her life.

In the historical time period, this is the story of Johanna Suhre, a friend of Louisa May Alcott. She goes to stay with Louisa’s parents so that Alcott can take a trip to Europe. It is during this time that Johanna goes against warnings from her friend Louisa and falls in love with the neighbor.

In the present day, Taylor and her sister/friend Victoria are digging into the life of Johanna and trying to determine what happened in her life, and all they have to go on is a few old documents they discover that were hidden all those years. This storyline was also very intriguing to me.


I think this is a story that needs to be read! So, so good!


Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


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