Orchard House

How a Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Grow

Publisher: Ballantine Books
For fans of Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving memoir of rediscovering, reinventing, and reconnecting, as an estranged mother and daughter come together to revive a long-abandoned garden and ultimately their relationship and themselves.
 
Peeling paint, stained floors, vined-over windows, a neglected and wild garden—Tara Austen Weaver can’t get the Seattle real estate listing out of her head. Any sane person would have seen the abandoned property for what it was: a ramshackle half-acre filled with dead grass, blackberry vines, and trouble. But Tara sees potential and promise—not only for the edible bounty the garden could yield for her family, but for the personal renewal she and her mother might reap along the way.
 
So begins Orchard House, a story of rehabilitation and cultivation—of land and soul. Through bleak winters, springs that sputter with rain and cold, golden days of summer, and autumns full of apples, pears, and pumpkins, this evocative memoir recounts the Weavers’ trials and triumphs, detailing what grew and what didn’t, the obstacles overcome and the lessons learned. Inexorably, as mother and daughter tend this wild patch and the fruits of their labor begin to flourish, green shoots of hope emerge from the darkness of their past.
 
For everyone who has ever planted something that they wished would survive—or tried to mend something that seemed forever broken—Orchard House is a tale of healing and growth set in a most unlikely place.

Praise for Orchard House

 
“This touching memoir chronicles how the act of transforming a garden together—of ‘planting hope’—helps a mother and daughter reconnect and revive the sense of groundedness that had been lost within their relationship and themselves. . . . [Orchard House] deftly [captures] the love, laughter, trials and tears that make motherhood the joy and job it truly is.”American Way
 
“Honest and moving . . . [the story of] one woman’s initiation into intensive gardening with her mother, which changed a neglected space into something beautiful and bountiful and shifted their relationship as well.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Fascinating, tender, often heartbreaking . . . The perfect gift for a mother or a daughter with an appreciation for the transformative power of gardening.”HGTV Gardens
 
“A wise exploration of family roots . . . Nurturing a garden is a lovely metaphor for healing a family. . . . [Orchard House] could serve as a handbook for both.”Shelf Awareness
 
“With buoyant grace and empathic insights, Weaver offers an ardent tribute to both the science of perseverance and the art of letting go.”Booklist

“This is a glorious book—lyrical, honest, compassionate, and wise. It reminds us that gardens and families are messy businesses, but from them we can harvest hope and food and moments of grace.”—Erica Bauermeister, author of The School of Essential Ingredients
 
“Filled with sensuous descriptions, this beguiling story enchants. Gardeners and non-gardeners alike will delight in this lyrical tale of how a garden grows a family.”—Diana Abu-Jaber, author of The Language of Baklava and Birds of Paradise

Orchard House is a glorious and deeply moving story of one family’s redemption. If Anne Lamott and Wendell Berry ever had a literary love child, Tara Austen Weaver might well be her.”—Elissa Altman, author of Poor Man’s Feast


From the Hardcover edition.

READ AN EXCERPT

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Stolen Berries

The day after we saw the house with the realtor, my mother convinced me to go back, to break into the garden to pick those luscious blackberries. There was a solid stripe on the dry lawn where the berries were falling to the ground and staining the grass purple,...
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PRAISE FOR

“This touching memoir chronicles how the act of transforming a garden together—of ‘planting hope’—helps a mother and daughter reconnect and revive the sense of groundedness that had been lost within their relationship and themselves. . . . [Orchard House] deftly [captures] the love, laughter, trials and tears that make motherhood the joy and job it truly is.”American Way
 
“Honest and moving . . . [the story of] one woman’s initiation into intensive gardening with her mother, which changed a neglected space into something beautiful and bountiful and shifted their relationship as well.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Fascinating, tender, often heartbreaking . . . The perfect gift for a mother or a daughter with an appreciation for the transformative power of gardening.”HGTV Gardens
 
“A wise exploration of family roots . . . Nurturing a garden is a lovely metaphor for healing a family. . . . [Orchard House] could serve as a handbook for both.”Shelf Awareness
 
“With buoyant grace and empathic insights, [Tara Austen] Weaver offers an ardent tribute to both the science of perseverance and the art of letting go.”Booklist

“This is a glorious book—lyrical, honest, compassionate, and wise. It reminds us that gardens and families are messy businesses, but from them we can harvest hope and food and moments of grace.”—Erica Bauermeister, author of The School of Essential Ingredients
 
“Filled with sensuous descriptions, this beguiling story enchants. Gardeners and non-gardeners alike will delight in this lyrical tale of how a garden grows a family.”—Diana Abu-Jaber, author ofThe Language of Baklava and Birds of Paradise

Orchard House is a glorious and deeply moving story of one family’s redemption quite literally from the ground up, and of how the very act of working an overgrown, wild garden—with invasive vines and painful thorns that threatened to smother and tear—resulted in the fruits of peace and healing. If Anne Lamott and Wendell Berry ever had a literary love child, Tara Austen Weaver might well be her.”—Elissa Altman, author of Poor Man’s Feast
 
Orchard House is an honest portrayal of the thorny process of mending a broken family; like coaxing a neglected garden into full fruit, the process is painful yet offers moments of sweet redemption. Weaver’s prose—especially when talking food—sings.”—Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City


From the Hardcover edition.