As the title suggests, fruit has important role in the novel The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs. Some characters work hard to save a family apple orchard, while another character longs to spend more time in his vineyard. This enjoyable book has elements of both romance and mystery, but the main theme really centers around the importance of family and friends. Tess has a successful career in the city, but she discovers a grandfather and a half-sister she never knew about in the beautiful town of Archangel. Most of the action takes place in Sonoma County, with lush descriptions of the landscapes and the food, but there are flashbacks to events in Nazi-era Europe.
The book also includes many recipes incorporating apples and grapes, including some unusual ones such as a soup with an apple. I look forward to trying out some of the recipes.
The Apple Orchard has been out for about a year now, but I only recently discovered it at a library display. I was pleased to learn that a second book in the series, The Beekeeper’s Ball, will soon be released. The new volume will focus on Tess’s sister Isabel.