Read The Family Orchard by Nomi Eve Online


In the bestselling tradition of The Red Tent, The Family Orchard is a spellbinding novel of one unforgettable family, the orchard they've tended for generations, and a love story that transcends the ages.Nomi Eve's lavishly imagined account begins in Palestine in 1837, with the tale of the irrepressible family matriach, Esther, who was lured by the smell of baking bread inIn the bestselling tradition of The Red Tent, The Family Orchard is a spellbinding novel of one unforgettable family, the orchard they've tended for generations, and a love story that transcends the ages.Nomi Eve's lavishly imagined account begins in Palestine in 1837, with the tale of the irrepressible family matriach, Esther, who was lured by the smell of baking bread into an affair with the local baker. Esther passes on her passionate nature to her son, Eliezer, whose love for the forbidden Golda threatened to tear the family apart. And to her granddaughter, Avra the thief, a tiny wisp of a girl who thumbed her nose at her elders by swiping precious stones from the local bazaar-and grew to marry a man she met at the scene of a crime. At once epic and intimate, The Family Orchard is a rich historical tapestry of passion and tradition from a storyteller of beguiling power....

Title : The Family Orchard
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375724572
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Family Orchard Reviews

  • Ayelet Waldman
    2019-05-18 06:49

    I'm just going to refer you to the brilliant Daniel Mendelsohn's review of this novel:

  • Shelley
    2019-05-01 06:00

    Made it to page 102. I couldn't take it. I don't like to force myself to read a book. It has to make you want to read it.

  • Shari
    2019-05-04 01:10

    The book follows a family’s 200 year history as they travelled from eastern Europe to Israel and put down their toots there. The characters are interesting and well–drawn but at times the book goes off on spiritual and artistic tangents that are difficult to follow. I also found that it kind of dwindled off at the end.

  • Ashley
    2019-05-01 00:44

    This one was slow in many places, I had a hard time getting through it. But it was very interesting to see a writer narrate the story of her own family through the generations. I liked the notes written by her dad in each chapter. Will be passing this one along.

  • Lara Maynard
    2019-05-07 04:44

    Stars:Stars for the overall concept, for being creative with the structure of narratives, plus illustrations, for trying to go for gusto with language, and for some stellar sentences and stories within this family-tree-comes-alive-in-novel form. Here's an example of those fine sentences: I get what Eve was going for in the writing style, but the metaphors are sometimes stretched too long and there is a fair bit of overwriting in general.Because the book covers a whole family tree, it tells just telling a bit or a sort of summary story about each generation. In some instances this is a little unsatisfying.The final parts of the book, where the author writes/tells about her own romantic relationship were the weakest. Having to use her imagination to flesh out her ancestors seems to have nourished stronger writing elsewhere in the book, which happens to tie in with the book's exploration of history, truth, legend and fiction very well, if certainly unintentionally.I'd read more from Nomi Eve. Her latest novel, Henna House, is on my TBR.

  • Autumn
    2019-04-30 00:52

    This is a book that will stay on the shelves of my library for others to read in the future. There is something about how this book skips and jumps through time to reach today that was utterly enticing to me. I wanted to have a fresh mango while reading this book. I could feel the sandy heat pressing on my neck and make me long for a fresh glass of water. I wanted and needed and desired like the people did in this book. The atmosphere of this novel is astounding, and while I wished for more, I know it was ended perfectly.

  • Marianne
    2019-05-16 01:57

    I usually love multi-generational family sagas. I did love how this one related the interweaving of people to grafting trees in a orchard - how each person carries pieces of their ancestors forward. An interesting analogy. Sadly, the story just fell flat. When we get to the present, the story finishes with no wow-factor. Set in Palestine, the historical account is compelling.

  • Stephanie Cohen
    2019-04-22 07:02

    ry interesting and unusualmily history

  • Sally Tomaszewski
    2019-05-11 05:14

    Got halfway thru, gave up. I actually liked the writing, but couldn't get into the story. Too many characters and too much jumping around.

  • Allison Armstrong
    2019-05-16 09:04

    This was a very Jewish book, but it read to me like a story-teller's tale of long ago. I enjoyed it. You will like this book if you like books that tell the story of interconnected generations.

  • Paul
    2019-05-18 06:01

    Where to begin? I had this book on my shelf for ages - years in fact. Something led me to take it off the shelf and start it a few weeks back... Maybe because I have been reading other books at the same time, I found the opening chapters took a while to get into. I soon got into my stride though, and found myself really enjoying Nomi Eve's writing. Her characters were so real and interesting. Their flaws and foibles making them very intriguing personalities. This is a book about family and place. The story covers the generations of the Sepher family from their arrival in Jerusalem in the mid-19th century through to their moving to a small agricultural community near the citrus groves around Petah Tiqva. The family orchard of the title is the livelihood and home that Shimon Sepher makes for his family in the early 20th century, a time when Palestine was changing rapidly as the Zionist pioneers move to their promised land. The orchard would in time pass to son and then grandson.The historical setting for this generational novel is the background plot as the dramatic national events through the years manifest themselves on an intimate scale. The orchard is of course the central character in the story and witnesses the key moments in our protagonists' lives. Eve writes with a really lovely feeling full of poignancy and poetry - but never going overboard with it. I particularly loved the detail of the orchard's life cycle and the different seasons that would pass, it helped give the story a nice rhythm. Overall I enjoyed it very much.

  • Jaindoh
    2019-04-20 03:49

    I read this book when I was in my teens and knew very little about the conflict in Palestine. I loved it back then, for its language and its quirkiness.So I thought I d read it again, to see what I had overlooked, now that I know more about what is happening there...The Family Orchard tells the story of the many branches of a Jewish family tree, from the 1850s to the present day. It is mostly based around Jerusalem and Palestine. The book is full of anecdotal and domestic detail, it is romantic without being saccharine, instead it is heavy with vibrant emotion and eroticism. Any book that manages to give a -very tender!- account of extramarital anal sex in its first 3 pages has already accomplished a lot, I think !It is a brave first book and the language used is sumptuous.The analogy of the trees - the family settle in the countryside in Palestine and grow citrus there - is a poignant one.Eve manages to give an account of some of the history of the land of Palestine in the 20th century without being too obvious. In fact her insight is more about the role of the British in creating the dispute. Although its clear which side she is on, she deals with the subject in a reasonable manner without resorting to mudslinging.And the illustrations are beautiful. Its a lovely book to read.

  • Kris - My Novelesque Life
    2019-05-07 06:49

    1.5 STARS"A magical, multigenerational saga encompassing two hundred years in the life of an unforgettable family--a book of love stories, ill-fated and blessed, sensuous as a dream, unfolding in a time and a place where fable is more potent than fact, where the imagination is more powerful than any truth, where the line between myth and history has all but dissolved: Jerusalem, from the early years of the nineteenth century to the present.They left Eastern Europe for Israel and emerged, six generations later, in America: Esther, the family matriarch, who was lured by the smell of baking bread into the baker's arms; her granddaughter, Avra the thief, who stole a cow's tongue and married a man with strong fists and very fast feet; Miriam, a seamstress who sewed spells into her cloths and whose mesmerizing beauty inadvertently transformed Kovna's House of Study into a container of pure carnal frustration; the twins Zohar and Moshe, who ran across the walls of the Old City as boys, and as men faced a tragedy that would haunt their family for generations to come; Eliezer, Zohar's son, who once tried to conjure a golem in his father's garden; and Eliezer's American-born daughter, who would one day take his stories and cast a spell of her own." (From Amazon)The only thing I remember about this novel is the cover...which is pretty.

  • Laura
    2019-05-18 07:46

    I really liked the concept of this book: It started with the author's family tree. Just two people, and told their story. From their, the family tree started to grow roots and branches as stories from other family members were added and told until we get to present day. The Family Orchard followed Jewish families from Palestine and Jerusalem to Poland and America and beyond. Everyone is connected and everyone has a story to share. But, what makes our real stories? The ones we share with others, or is our real story the secrets that we keep?Each section was like reading a different short story about someone else's life, but knowing the back story and how they got there. It really required you to remember somewhat the other characters, so best to read this book in a relatively short period of time if you can, so you don't forget. Because it was a short story, it was hard to completely get connected and stay focused on the various stories. I found myself skimming some of the book, but really appreciate what the author was trying to do in this totally unique way of telling a story!

  • Korri
    2019-05-04 05:51

    This novel is an interesting exercise in weaving history, legend, fact and memory as Nomi Eve composes her own midrash from her father's family history research. He records births, marriages, and migrations; she constructs secret desires and personality quirks. Each chapter gives a fleeting glimpse of a couple or an individual in the family from 1837 to the author herself. I'm afraid the premise is at times more interesting than the execution. Sometimes Eve's flourishes and embroideries are a bit too much. Miriam's ability to sew stories and emotions into clothing is meant to be an earthy, vivacious example of magical realism but it falls flat and feels like an inexplicably major shift in tone. And the author's musings about the stories we tell each other --to amuse, to make sense of our lives, to keep sadness at bay, to rationalize, to forget, to save, to prove our existence, to create-- can feel heavy-handed. These musings are most eloquent when used within the stories themselves (Avra's thievery, the golem, the mosaic tile).

  • Megan Lillian
    2019-05-17 04:04

    An interesting style of narrative, the history of a family from Jerusalem is unraveled through both the narrator's father's factual historical lens and her own fantastical, imaginary version of each generation's lives, loves, and losses. Several of the details were beautiful, or clever, or both. I liked the descriptions of each of her characters very much. The last chapter was the weakest and I felt the author fell into trite love-isms as she tried to find some way to wrap up... Overall, the book was well-written and imaginative, but not truly engaging. Although the thread weaving all the characters and their stories together was laid out for us (in genograms no less) I didn't feel like I was holding a complete collection. The best comparison I can manage is that this book seems to me the lit. version of a breadcrumb trail of sparkly things -- when you come upon one, it's exciting for a moment, but between those brief shining discoveries? Eh.

  • Patrick
    2019-04-28 01:44

    An unsatisfying read. I enjoyed the first 100 pages or so, in which the characters from history were presented. As she got closer to the modern characters, they got less and less interesting, and more unappealing. In general, it is not a flattering picture of a family. As others have noted, the depiction of this family in isolation from much of the world around them (Palestinians, in particular) was odd.The idea of the orchard as a theme did not really work. It seemed more like a lot of researched factoids thrown in as an attempt to generate a theme (many of the illustrations were completely disconnected from the prose). The family seemed to regard the orchard only as a fruit factory, whose production should be optimized - there seemed to be little or no connection to the orchard as a living thing. Having recently read The Orchardist, the contrast bugged me.

  • Kim
    2019-05-10 06:50

    This is the story of a family that spans generations and is in many ways a fictionalized history of immigration to Palestine. Um, Palestinians don´t really play a role in this one. We are really talking about a history of European immigration to Palestine. A Palestine sin Palestinians. So a lot of interesting and important history goes unfictionalized and thus silenced in this book. That said, there are some passably hot sex scenes, but don´t get too excited because somehow throughout the generations everyone in the family turns out hetero. I don´t buy it, but there it is. I found this book entertaining for three generations, but by the fifth I was ready for it to be done. It is compared to the Red Tent. I think the Red Tent is a much better book. But if you are looking for some mild hetero porn, skim this book till you find it.

  • Anne Marie
    2019-05-04 02:48

    This book wasn't as bad as I thought it would be after reading a couple of the not-so-great reviews. I was at least able to finish the book, unlike one of the reviewers, who had to stop at page 100. I thought the author had really great subject matter even though it was fiction, but realistic fiction, about her Jewish ancestors. Some of the stories were interesting; I liked how grandparents and great great grandparents came to life in their time period. But other times, it was difficult and rather slow reading. I never understood about the golem; I think better stories than this about the past could have been written to make the characters more understood and a better book overall.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-17 04:57

    I'm not sure if it was just because this was the first book I read after my 2nd baby was born or what, but I didn't really like it. For one thing, it took me over a month to read, and if you know me, you know that I generally read books in days, not weeks. Partly that could be attributed to that "new mommy haze", but part of it was the book. It was a family history, but there wasn't enough plot to keep my interest. It kind of dragged along. The first two chapters were almost soft porn, but the rest of it was kind of boring, especially after the first two chapters! The whole family story was sort of interesting as a whole, but nothing in the book grabbed me and made me want to keep reading.

  • Linda
    2019-04-28 06:51

    A multigenerational saga told as a family history. It starts with the great-great grandparents of the author. Each story is so intimate and sensual. Woven throughout are women with special talents - embroidery, baking, stealing even. It tells some deep dark secrets/family secrets and how it alters their life/lives and their histories. Beautifully written She is fine story teller. The family mostly lives and grows up on a citrus orchard. The descriptions you can almost taste. The orchard is in Israel, and she talks about the family immigrating and settling in plus some history around Britain and the Palestinians. Mostly though it is the interwoven family's lives and their stories.

  • Deborah Drezon
    2019-05-18 03:01

    I liked the book, particularly the premise of the daughter's words and the father's words telling the same stories. I think the writer has some very strong moments and some weaker ones, leaving me feeling like this could have been a great book but stopped at good. I know the writer was young and she may grow into her craft over time. This is a wonderful first effort and I believe it could be re-written stronger. The transitions were weak from story to story but I think that careful editing and coaching could have improved the flow. I think you'll like this if you like epic novels, you just may not love it as much as you wish you could.

  • Carly Crosby
    2019-05-01 04:07

    Absolutely fantastic.I loved this novel from the first through the last page. The writing is so phenomenal I cannot do it justice. Poetry takes to novel, as we follow this family through the ages. We see their humanity in small scenes from their lives. Every inch of this book is well executed. There are passages that you have to read over and over, testing how they feel on your tongue and in your ear. I know already that my copy will eventually be well battered with many rereadings, various highlighting and dog-eared sections. I recommend this to anyone who loves words and enjoys a flair of ethereal historical fiction.

  • Marvin
    2019-05-13 09:12

    A promising premise: it's written in conversation with, and as fictional elaboration on, the author's father's history of their family, whose ancestors emigrated to Palestine in the 1830s. Unfortunately, the execution doesn't live up to the promise; we don't spend enough time with any of the characters to get intimately familiar with, or care about, them, and there's not enough treatment of changing historical contexts to take advantage of the story's broad historical sweep through a most interesting time and place. All in all, a big disappointment.

  • Linda
    2019-04-21 02:02

    This was like reading short stories, and I was looking for a different kind of family saga, the kind where one generation slowly slips into the next. This book makes one abrupt jump after another. The redeeming feature is that Nomi Eve is quite a good writer, but she needs to get the movement in the narration better. This is a debut novel so perhaps she will. Eve's bits with the supernatural do not resonate well with me, and if I know that sort of thing is in a book, it probably would have been a no starter.

  • Monique
    2019-05-13 05:44

    Mooi boek voor iedereen die geïnteresseerd is in familiegeschiedenis. Het boek begint met Esther en Yochanan en van daaruit volgt een verhaal over de vele generaties die vanuit hun huis in Jeruzalem worden geboren en opgroeien. Het leest een beetje vreemd (vandaar 3 sterren) want het is een soort stamboom dat uit verhalen bestaat, waarbij een 'vader' de feiten vertelt en een 'ik'persoon deze aanvult met verhalen. Door de feiten wordt het verhaal steeds onderbroken en leest het niet echt als een roman (al zegt de achterflap van wel), maar als korte stukjes. Desondanks een mooi boek!

  • John
    2019-05-03 02:56

    This is her one book. It reminds me of the Latin American surrealists but based in Israel over generations. So far she has a nice touch. You feel like she was enjoying this while she was writing it.And in the end, not a great book, but a good book. There was much love in writing this. She took her family history and made a real life fairy tale out of it.I'm fascinated by the fact that she disappears after. As Ken Kesey said, isn't writing just one good book enough? Probably. She just put some much into this it makes me wonder where she would have gone next.

  • Robin
    2019-05-10 05:09

    As of p. 72, this book is pretty much just about sex. Not bad, but thus far it is definitely not a family saga following the history of Israel. It's a sexy romance novel with a slight plot.I've gotta stop choosing my reading from the discard cabinet.After about half way through, a story begins to develop with a little history and some stuff about caring for orchards. I liked it better then. Still, it was with a sense of relief and accomplishment (not enjoyment) that I turned the last page.

  • Amy
    2019-04-22 09:01

    I wanted to like this. The setting was intriguing, the language was beautiful and poetic in places, and I generally love multi-generational sagas, but somehow it didn't come together to create a compelling whole. I think part of the problem was that the author tried to cram in too many generations, so you only got to know one set of characters for 20 or so pages before moving on to the next generation. In the end, reading this felt more like work than a pleasure.

  • Emily
    2019-05-17 02:44

    This book possessed qualities that I always adore in a book- earthiness, a wordy sensuality, hints of the spiritual, generational timelines. It fell short of my desires, though, due to a sort of odd sexual nature- difficult to explain- and a something else I'm still not sure of. Someday I'll write a more complex review.