The Lemon Orchard, written by Luanne Rice, is simply heart breaking for multiple reasons. The first is that this book has a great plot, and delves into some serious issues in the world of illegal immigrants and border politics. The second reason that it broke my heart was the loss that Julia faced more than once. The third reason it broke my heart is that this book contain bad language and multiple sex scenes.
I am not sure if this book affected me so much because I have a multiracial family and this heartbreak could easily have been me if my husband hadn’t gotten his residency and citizenship legally. It is a hard thing sometimes to be married to a naturalized citizen and know that perhaps some of his family or friends have come here illegally. Stories like this one make me wonder what kinds of things they might have gone through on their journey to a hopefully better life.
In The Lemon Orchard Julia comes to Malibu to her uncle’s house to house sit. Attached to the house is a working lemon orchard. It is the perfect place for Julia to come and perhaps begin to finally heal from the death of her beloved daughter five years earlier. While there she can’t avoid meeting Roberto, the orchard overseer.
This is the excerpt that caught my eye and made me decide to read it. “Julia understood that the connection with Roberto had to do with the flash she’d seen in his eyes when she asked if he had children and he seemed unsure of whether to answer yes or no. He’d finally said, “Yes, a daughter,” but he looked away from Julia’s eyes the way a person does when he’s lying. She did that. She could never speak straight to anyone about Jenny.”
This is a complicated story of love, of loss, and of healing. If it hadn’t been for the bad language and the brief love scenes (thankfully just paragraphs and not pagesso they are easy to skip over, if I remember right) this book would have made it to my Great Reads list… I wish authors would not feel compelled to add such stuff to an otherwise read book.
- Review: The Lemon Orchard (bermudaonion.net)