Monday, July 29, 2013

#Review: THE LEMON ORCHARD by Luanne Rice



5 of 5 stars

A woman heartbroken by the tragic death of her daughter. An illegal immigrant worker haunted by the decision he made in the desert. These two people, Julia and Roberto, find themselves both tending to the lemon orchard. Julia is house sitting for her aunt and uncle and Roberto manages the orchard. Their interactions and budding friendship throws these two unlikely people together. Can these two fractures souls find some peace and healing in the arms of each other?

This book starts out with a shocking event and pulls the reader into the story. I could feel Julia's pain as she tries to cope with her daughter's death. Their interactions are told in flashbacks throughout the book and with each new revelation, their relationship becomes clear. When Julia meets Roberto, there is something about his quiet ways that begins to break through her grief and bring her back to life. Roberto's story is equally traumatizing, but he has no choice. He must shoulder on so that he can send money back home to Mexico to take care of his ailing mother. This could be any illegal immigrant's story. How many die in the desert before reaching the border? It opens up the all sorts of questions about the depths people will go through to make it to the US. Whatever you feel about the larger issues, the story of Julia and Roberto is haunting and one of tenderness, love, loyalty and bittersweet memories. The ending was a bit disappointing and left me wanting more of Julia and Roberto's story.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.