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Concord, Massachusetts 2001 Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott's historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it fe Concord, Massachusetts 2001 Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott's historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it feels like Taylor is finally finding her place and some stability . . . until Victoria's betrayal changes everything. 1865 While Louisa May Alcott is off traveling the world, Johanna Suhre accepts a job tending Louisa's aging parents and their home in Concord. Soon after arriving at Orchard House, Johanna meets Nathan Bancroft and, ignoring Louisa's words of caution, falls in love and accepts Nathan's proposal. But before long, Johanna experiences her husband's dark side, and she can't hide the bruises that appear. 2019 After receiving news of Lorraine Bennett's cancer diagnosis, Taylor knows she must return home to see her adoptive mother again. Now a successful author, Taylor is determined to spend little time in Concord. Yet she becomes drawn into the story of a woman who lived there centuries before. And through her story, Taylor may just find forgiveness and a place to belong.


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Concord, Massachusetts 2001 Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott's historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it fe Concord, Massachusetts 2001 Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott's historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it feels like Taylor is finally finding her place and some stability . . . until Victoria's betrayal changes everything. 1865 While Louisa May Alcott is off traveling the world, Johanna Suhre accepts a job tending Louisa's aging parents and their home in Concord. Soon after arriving at Orchard House, Johanna meets Nathan Bancroft and, ignoring Louisa's words of caution, falls in love and accepts Nathan's proposal. But before long, Johanna experiences her husband's dark side, and she can't hide the bruises that appear. 2019 After receiving news of Lorraine Bennett's cancer diagnosis, Taylor knows she must return home to see her adoptive mother again. Now a successful author, Taylor is determined to spend little time in Concord. Yet she becomes drawn into the story of a woman who lived there centuries before. And through her story, Taylor may just find forgiveness and a place to belong.

30 review for The Orchard House

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn Green

    I was hooked from the first page until the last with The Orchard House. The relationships between sisters Taylor and Victoria, and friends Louisa and Johanna, not to mention the men in their lives, were nuanced, complex, completely believable, and painfully realistic. Up until this novel, the work I've read from Heidi Chiavaroli has used the Revolutionary War as the historical half of the novels' timelines, with all the drama and action and intrigue such a war provides. The Orchard House offers I was hooked from the first page until the last with The Orchard House. The relationships between sisters Taylor and Victoria, and friends Louisa and Johanna, not to mention the men in their lives, were nuanced, complex, completely believable, and painfully realistic. Up until this novel, the work I've read from Heidi Chiavaroli has used the Revolutionary War as the historical half of the novels' timelines, with all the drama and action and intrigue such a war provides. The Orchard House offers something new with its historical context being post-Civil War, and its content surrounding a friendship involving one of our literary greats, Louisa May Alcott. Chiavaroli proves her ability to plumb the depths of human drama whether the conflicts are external or internal. No matter her subject matter, her books are full of heart, history, and hope.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    I really enjoy reading time-split novels and discovering how the connection is made between the time periods. While this one is mostly focused on modern times and Taylor's story I did make a connection with Taylor. She gets a chance to be a part of her best friend, Victoria Bennett's family and she dare not mess it up. The women spend much time together as best friends and as aspiring author's take summer classes at Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. Pushing aside her insecurity Taylor is starti I really enjoy reading time-split novels and discovering how the connection is made between the time periods. While this one is mostly focused on modern times and Taylor's story I did make a connection with Taylor. She gets a chance to be a part of her best friend, Victoria Bennett's family and she dare not mess it up. The women spend much time together as best friends and as aspiring author's take summer classes at Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House. Pushing aside her insecurity Taylor is starting to come into her own until the ultimate betrayal happens. I did expect to see more of Louisa May Alcott's story but we do see how the time frames meshed.It's very evident the author has researched this time period. A beautiful story about grace and finding your place in life,compassion allowing others in,betrayal,coming to grips with it,redemption and forgiveness. Growth,maturity and love round it out. The plot was amazing and well rounded,I loved the descriptions feeling as though I were right there with the characters. Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc I received a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Heidi Chiavaroli is one of my go-to authors for writing style, storytelling talent, and historical bent. I always enjoy how she incorporates the past into modern day stories. In this dual timeline novel, Louisa May Alcott and her masterpiece, Little Women, figure large in both past & present plot lines. Unlike the March girls, the modern day characters--who are not quite sisters--find no forgiveness after they judge themselves against each other and compete with each other. They only tear their Heidi Chiavaroli is one of my go-to authors for writing style, storytelling talent, and historical bent. I always enjoy how she incorporates the past into modern day stories. In this dual timeline novel, Louisa May Alcott and her masterpiece, Little Women, figure large in both past & present plot lines. Unlike the March girls, the modern day characters--who are not quite sisters--find no forgiveness after they judge themselves against each other and compete with each other. They only tear their relationship further apart. Alone, these main characters suffer heartaches and bitterness. It’s only when life brings them back together--and they attempt to renew the bond of sisterhood--that they are able to find hope and healing. A fun part of the novel is having the Alcott home, Orchard House, as the setting for modern day scenes. A must-read for fans of Louisa May Alcott & inspirational fiction!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Liz Tolsma

    Of course, anything having to do with Louisa May Alcott and Little Women, I'm going to love. And then throw in Heidi Chiavaroli as the author, and it's a sure winner. I wasn't disappointed at all. Loved it. The characters are so well drawn. I felt like I was in Concord. I felt like I was living this story. And the dual timelines merged together so beautifully. Yes, I even cried at the end. It was a fabulous book. Of course, anything having to do with Louisa May Alcott and Little Women, I'm going to love. And then throw in Heidi Chiavaroli as the author, and it's a sure winner. I wasn't disappointed at all. Loved it. The characters are so well drawn. I felt like I was in Concord. I felt like I was living this story. And the dual timelines merged together so beautifully. Yes, I even cried at the end. It was a fabulous book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susie Finkbeiner

    I had the privilege of reading this book for endorsement. It is gorgeous! Full review to come.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Are you a fan of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott? If you are, then you will want to read The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli. The Orchard House is a split time novel. For part of the book, the reader learns about Taylor and Victoria Bennett. Taylor is adopted by the Bennett family and struggles to fit in. Both girls want to be a writer and attend summer classes at The Orchard House. The girls grow up writing and struggling with teenage issues together. Then when Taylor feels like she is just Are you a fan of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott? If you are, then you will want to read The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli. The Orchard House is a split time novel. For part of the book, the reader learns about Taylor and Victoria Bennett. Taylor is adopted by the Bennett family and struggles to fit in. Both girls want to be a writer and attend summer classes at The Orchard House. The girls grow up writing and struggling with teenage issues together. Then when Taylor feels like she is just starting to find her place in the world, she is betrayed by Victoria and everything changes. The reader also goes back in time to read the story of Johanna Suhre who cares for Louisa May Alcott's aging parents at The Orchard House. While she is with the Alcott family, she meets their neighbor, Nathan Bancroft, and they form a relationship. But is everything what it appears to be with Nathan? The Orchard House is a well-written novel with seemingly effortlessly going back and forth in time. I struggled a bit at times with the content but not with the flow. There are some triggers if you have been in an abusive relationship, so at times I put the book down. However, I did want to keep reading and seeing how everything worked out. I liked the Bennett family for the most part. I could see why Taylor struggled to feel like she fit in. I could also see why Johanna had some struggles. In a different era, I think it was more difficult for women to leave abusive situations. I did think the way the Bennett family worked through their struggles seemed realistic and inspiring. There are some great discussion questions at the end of The Orchard House. It would be good for book clubs to use as readers wrestle through some of the issues in this book together. I received a copy of this book courtesy of the author and publisher. All opinions within this review are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    4.5 stars "I am talking about a bigger place to belong - in the arms of One who not only tells me not to fear; but who, in the midst of my failures, has loved me and given me a worth beyond measure. In this, I find both liberty and home - two things I once thought opposites but I now see are not so very different." Belonging. A difficult topic for two young women to comprehend; separated by generations and yet inexplicably bound together by commonality of heart and mind. One had been adopted as a 4.5 stars "I am talking about a bigger place to belong - in the arms of One who not only tells me not to fear; but who, in the midst of my failures, has loved me and given me a worth beyond measure. In this, I find both liberty and home - two things I once thought opposites but I now see are not so very different." Belonging. A difficult topic for two young women to comprehend; separated by generations and yet inexplicably bound together by commonality of heart and mind. One had been adopted as a young teen, only to suffer betrayal by those who had spoken of love. The other sought security beside one who routinely broke his promises, ushering in years of heartache and misunderstanding. But running away? Had that been the right response to Taylor Bennett's dilemma? What about staying? Did Johanna Suhre Bancroft make the right decision when she remained? Miraculously, a hidden book of poems, found tucked away in the historic home of Louisa May Alcott, peels back the pages of time long enough to give both women closure, within and without the walls of The Orchard House. "The Author of Life. He was still writing the words, spinning our story. And this time I was certain that good would come from it." What a lovely and thought provoking book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Beautiful blending of two story lines with the foundation of Louisa May Alcott's life at the core. Taylor was adopted by her best friend's family in 2001 which allowed her to escape the foster care system. Taylor has difficulty finding her place and value in her new family. Adoption occurred at age 13 in the year 2001. As a young adult, Taylor cuts all ties from her family. The bulk of the present day story line occurs in 2019 when Taylor returns home to Concord, Massachusetts. Johanna Suhre becam Beautiful blending of two story lines with the foundation of Louisa May Alcott's life at the core. Taylor was adopted by her best friend's family in 2001 which allowed her to escape the foster care system. Taylor has difficulty finding her place and value in her new family. Adoption occurred at age 13 in the year 2001. As a young adult, Taylor cuts all ties from her family. The bulk of the present day story line occurs in 2019 when Taylor returns home to Concord, Massachusetts. Johanna Suhre became friends with Louisa May Alcott in 1863 and worked for the family for a period of time. Like Taylor, Joanna struggles to find contentment in her life. She is an aspiring poet. Each chapter begins with a Louisa May Alcott quote. This quote describes Ms Alcott rather well "Saw Anna in her nest...Very sweet and pretty, but I'd rather be a free spinster and paddle my own canoe". The revelations that come to Taylor, her sister Victoria and Johanna are gratifying to read. The ultimate focus on Christ brought a smile to my face. My gratitude to publisher Tyndale for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    I was not prepared for what an emotional read this turned out to be. I felt serious melancholic vibes throughout. Sniffle. I'm glad I listened to the audible version because I got to ugly cry right through the sad parts (and there are many!) My heart still feels bruised. Hiccup-y sigh...sometimes a reader just needs a good story to wallow in and The Orchard House fits that bill perfectly. Achingly beautiful and heartrending. Exquisitely written -- the historical details had my childish Louisa Ma I was not prepared for what an emotional read this turned out to be. I felt serious melancholic vibes throughout. Sniffle. I'm glad I listened to the audible version because I got to ugly cry right through the sad parts (and there are many!) My heart still feels bruised. Hiccup-y sigh...sometimes a reader just needs a good story to wallow in and The Orchard House fits that bill perfectly. Achingly beautiful and heartrending. Exquisitely written -- the historical details had my childish Louisa May Alcott fangirling heart all aflutter. She was my first ever author crush! And, oh how I felt for Taylor's struggle to find a place to belong. Fear is the barrier that keeps her at a distance and her agonizing journey of self-discovery completely gutted me. I'm literally too stupefied to say more...except The Orchard House is an emotional masterpiece. But I think I definitely need to balance it with a light-hearted rom/com to lift me out of the bibliophile doldrums. :-)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    The Orchard House is another shining example of how Heidi Chiavaroli excels at split-time narratives. Some books make you stop and catch your breath with the emotional punch they pack. This book was like that for me - compelling and hard to put down. It's always a journey for the reader to see how the modern day storyline connects with the historical one. When I realized that Louisa May Alcott would be featured in this novel, I was pumped. Alcott is special to our modern day character, Taylor, an The Orchard House is another shining example of how Heidi Chiavaroli excels at split-time narratives. Some books make you stop and catch your breath with the emotional punch they pack. This book was like that for me - compelling and hard to put down. It's always a journey for the reader to see how the modern day storyline connects with the historical one. When I realized that Louisa May Alcott would be featured in this novel, I was pumped. Alcott is special to our modern day character, Taylor, and her "sister," Victoria, who both attend writing workshops at Orchard House as girls. In the present day, Taylor's relationship with Victoria and her adoptive parents is fractured, and so much time as passed that Taylor only sees strife and heartache in her return to her family. In juxtaposition to this is Joanna Suhre's friendship with Alcott in 1865 that first blossoms but is then strained when Joanna ignores her dear friend's words of caution. As always, some of the events and themes of her story are weighty, yet Chiavaroli doesn't leave her characters without hope for long. Though at first it's hard to see how either character can find resolution, in Chiavaroli's deft hands, the characters are set on an emotional yet satisfying path to bring healing and reconciliation. I highly recommend The Orchard House to fans of Louisa May Alcott, split time narratives, and compelling character-driven stories. I received a complimentary copy of this novel; this review is my honest opinion.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Chiavaroli

    I'm beyond pleased to introduce my newest release to you! I'm so excited about this one, my fellow readers, and sincerely hope you enjoy the story within these pages. Taken from the Historical Note in the back of The Orchard House: It’s been more than 150 years since the publication of Little Women, and yet our culture continues to be fascinated by this seemingly simple domestic tale. In many ways, its message is revolutionary. And in many ways, it is as old as time, calling each of us to our own I'm beyond pleased to introduce my newest release to you! I'm so excited about this one, my fellow readers, and sincerely hope you enjoy the story within these pages. Taken from the Historical Note in the back of The Orchard House: It’s been more than 150 years since the publication of Little Women, and yet our culture continues to be fascinated by this seemingly simple domestic tale. In many ways, its message is revolutionary. And in many ways, it is as old as time, calling each of us to our own good works and independence, calling each of us to love one another well. As always, when writing of a true historical figure, I feel both excitement and a burden to portray them as they truly were and honor their memory. To take on Louisa May Alcott, such a fiercely admired lady and author, was a task I did not take lightly. In preparation for this mission, I read several respected biographies as well as her published letters and journals. Though I had read Little Women before, I reread the beloved classic, as well as the books of hers mentioned within—Hospital Sketches, Moods, and Fair Rosamond (published in 1995 as A Long Fatal Love Chase). In my research, I gained insight into this woman—so much more than simply fictional Jo March. I gained respect for her and felt her sadness over much of the tragedy that played out in her life. Many times, particularly in dialogue and letters, I have used her own words from her letters and journals to keep a tone of authenticity within them. Louisa was a champion of the underdog—whether it be the enslaved African, the voteless woman, the widowed beggar, her orphaned nephews and husbandless sister, or hardworking Marmee, I could imagine what this strong-willed woman’s response would be to a friend in Johanna’s situation. Her experience with Johanna’s brother, John Suhre, did happen, though she fictionalized some of it in Hospital Sketches. John did leave behind a brother and a sister, whose names I’ve kept, but the similarities end there and from then on are entirely fictionalized. I had the pleasure of visiting Orchard House while researching, and I would heartily encourage New England visitors to take a tour if in the area. From the Revolution to the Renaissance, Concord is a town bursting with history and culture. Though I have not witnessed domestic abuse firsthand, I have known women who have suffered its harmful effects. If you are a woman who finds yourself in a situation like Victoria’s or Johanna’s, I hope you will reach out for help. No one should have to live in fear. Please know I am praying for you and that you are not alone. https://www.thehotline.org I pray the legacy of women like Louisa Alcott may continue on in our literature, minds, and hearts, and that the Lord would use them to inspire hope, freedom, and most of all, love.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    With deep realism and authenticity, award winning author Heidi Chiavaroli takes readers to the post-Civil War era in Massachusetts in her latest novel, The Orchard House. This time-slip novel follows the historical storyline of Johanna Suhre, who is taking care of Louisa May Alcott’s parents in their home, and the present-day storyline of thirty-seven-year-old Taylor Bennett, who struggled for years to fit in and suffered heartbreaking betrayal from her adoptive family. Readers also are given fu With deep realism and authenticity, award winning author Heidi Chiavaroli takes readers to the post-Civil War era in Massachusetts in her latest novel, The Orchard House. This time-slip novel follows the historical storyline of Johanna Suhre, who is taking care of Louisa May Alcott’s parents in their home, and the present-day storyline of thirty-seven-year-old Taylor Bennett, who struggled for years to fit in and suffered heartbreaking betrayal from her adoptive family. Readers also are given further insight into Taylor’s life with scenes from her teenage years in the contemporary storyline. Both storylines come together in a satisfying resolution which allows for forgiveness and hope for the future. Heidi Chiavaroli is known for writing incredible time-slip novels that tackle difficult topics while, at the same time, drawing readers closer to their faith. Topics of domestic abuse and doubts of self-worth are addressed in both storylines. Even though I have never read Little Women and was not particularly familiar with Louisa May Alcott, since Heidi Chiavaroli wrote The Orchard House, I knew I had to read this book! Heidi Chiavaroli always writes extremely captivating tales in both her historical and contemporary storylines, but this time, her contemporary storyline absolutely blew me away. I was completely mesmerized by the contemporary storyline and could not wait to read more of Taylor’s story. The Orchard House is highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, women’s fiction, and readers who enjoy time-slip novels. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rosalyn

    I found in the pages of The Orchard House a story i didn’t even know I needed to hear. This amazing story, one that started out a bit slowly for me at first, has a tremendous lesson, and it spoke to something deep within me. Taylor was adopted as a young teen, by her best friend’s family. But she was never sure she truly belonged. She spent many years in doubt, and even left behind her family because of those fears of not truly belonging. She was very much a character I could identify with. Becau I found in the pages of The Orchard House a story i didn’t even know I needed to hear. This amazing story, one that started out a bit slowly for me at first, has a tremendous lesson, and it spoke to something deep within me. Taylor was adopted as a young teen, by her best friend’s family. But she was never sure she truly belonged. She spent many years in doubt, and even left behind her family because of those fears of not truly belonging. She was very much a character I could identify with. Because, deep down, I think if we’re honest, all of us are searching for a place of truly belonging. I’d like to share this quote that sums it up so well: “I think perhaps that I have been looking all these years for some thing that was not so far away. And no, I did not mean (name hidden to prevent spoiler), for he too will no doubt eventually fail in his own way. I am talking about a bigger place to belong – – in the arms of One who not only tells me not to fear, but who, in the midst of my failures, has loved me and given me a worth beyond measure. In this, I find both liberty and home – – two things I once thought opposites but I now see are not so very different.” In the historical time period, this is the story of Johanna Suhre, a friend of Louisa May Alcott. She goes to stay with Louisa's parents so that Alcott can take a trip to Europe. It is during this time that Johanna goes against warnings from her friend Louisa and falls in love with the neighbor. In the present day, Taylor and her sister/friend Victoria are digging into the life of Johanna and trying to determine what happened in her life, and all they have to go on is a few old documents they discover that were hidden all those years. This storyline was also very intriguing to me. I think this is a story that needs to be read! So, so good! Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    Heidi Chiavaroli delivers another dual timeline that broaches the tough topics with grace and offers hope in the darkness. This book takes place in Concord, MA, around the home where Louisa May Alcott lived. Though I have not read Little Women (I know, I know....) or any other of Alcott's works, I was still able to enjoy the story - though fans of Alcott would likely enjoy it even more. This book follows Taylor who was adopted by her best friend's family at age 13, but ran away 8 years later aft Heidi Chiavaroli delivers another dual timeline that broaches the tough topics with grace and offers hope in the darkness. This book takes place in Concord, MA, around the home where Louisa May Alcott lived. Though I have not read Little Women (I know, I know....) or any other of Alcott's works, I was still able to enjoy the story - though fans of Alcott would likely enjoy it even more. This book follows Taylor who was adopted by her best friend's family at age 13, but ran away 8 years later after a severe betrayal of trust. When she comes home 16 years later, there is much to repair. In the historic timeline, we meet Johanna, a friend of Louisa Alcott, who finds herself in a sticky situation similar to Taylor's sister in the modern timeline. All of Chiavaroli's books hit some heavy topics and this one is no different. Between the quest to belong, foster care and domestic violence, there are plenty of hard topics included in this book. They are handled with grace and the author shines the light of hope that is found in Jesus on these situations, which I loved about the book. The characters were well fleshed-out and real, as well as likable (most of the time) and relatable. There was a mystery to solve and brokenness to mend. There was a solid faith thread, though it took a bit of time to get there. This one kept me enthralled from the very beginning. If you enjoy dual timeline women's fiction that doesn't shy away from the hard stuff, this is one I'd strongly recommend. Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Wilson

    Heidi Chiavaroli once again comes through with a compelling, heart-wrenching story of two women facing the same struggles. In her latest time-slip novel, The Orchard House, both the historic character Johanna, and the contemporary character Taylor, struggle with self-worth, belonging, betrayal, and love. The writing is again excellent. I came to tears over Louisa’s descriptions of John and felt the world suffered greatly to lose such a man. I loved Will, then hated him and Victoria, then felt for Heidi Chiavaroli once again comes through with a compelling, heart-wrenching story of two women facing the same struggles. In her latest time-slip novel, The Orchard House, both the historic character Johanna, and the contemporary character Taylor, struggle with self-worth, belonging, betrayal, and love. The writing is again excellent. I came to tears over Louisa’s descriptions of John and felt the world suffered greatly to lose such a man. I loved Will, then hated him and Victoria, then felt for both of them in their struggles. Will and Victoria’s action, but particularly Taylor’s reaction to leave instead of finding out the truth, show how one decision can set in motion years of consequences. What would have happened to all three of them had Taylor stayed? Her decision to leave really seemed to have a devastating effect on Will, which in turn, greatly affected Victoria and Taylor negatively. Johanna’s decision to go against her gut and the caution of Louisa causes her as well, to suffer the consequences for years. I enjoyed getting to know Louisa and Johanna through their letters, instead of primarily dialog. I did, however, find Louisa’s letter from Europe to be quite lengthy. The Orchard House is a worthy addition to Heidi’s works. I received an advanced copy for my unbiased review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    I don't know too many voracious readers that didn't start out as a child devouring 'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott, as well as many of her other classics! Ms. Alcott has always been an enigma to most of us and I respectfully disagree with some who stated they wanted to read more of her story in this dual timeline, correlating the past with the present. I feel as though the author still wanted to leave an aura of mystery surrounding Louisa, but through her extensive research of her published I don't know too many voracious readers that didn't start out as a child devouring 'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott, as well as many of her other classics! Ms. Alcott has always been an enigma to most of us and I respectfully disagree with some who stated they wanted to read more of her story in this dual timeline, correlating the past with the present. I feel as though the author still wanted to leave an aura of mystery surrounding Louisa, but through her extensive research of her published letters and journals, we gain alot of insight and facts about this amazing author—not only a writer, but a champion of women's rights and a fighter against injustice. It's heartbreaking to realize the emotional and physical abuse that women suffered from their husbands took place not only back in Louisa's day, but is still going on all around us in this present time...as Ms. Chiavaroli courageously tackles this taboo subject. The Orchard House, a beautifully written story of betrayal, forgiveness, romance—and the bonds shared between two women in the past and present and how they connect—make for a truly intriguing read! **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  17. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    I find it hard to put into words experiencing this book. I savored it. I enjoyed it. I wanted more of it. I have never read a book that it is really like. It addressed a hard topic without almost really describing the topic at hand. A beloved author to many, Louisa May Alcott is the heroine in many ways, of this novel, even though she is not one of the main characters. I loved the history, the tidbits with the characters being writers, as well as the heartache that was shared by the characters a I find it hard to put into words experiencing this book. I savored it. I enjoyed it. I wanted more of it. I have never read a book that it is really like. It addressed a hard topic without almost really describing the topic at hand. A beloved author to many, Louisa May Alcott is the heroine in many ways, of this novel, even though she is not one of the main characters. I loved the history, the tidbits with the characters being writers, as well as the heartache that was shared by the characters as well, and so well written. This is not a romance, but the story of what true friendship between women, even when some are married and some are not, was so accurately portrayed, misunderstandings and all, left this book near to my heart. I related to Taylor so much, and I am sure you will as well.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    I was hooked from the start as the author introduces a hurting young lady, named Taylor in “1995 Concord, Massachusetts, she thinks, “Thirteen isn’t quite grown-up, but it’s old enough for a girl to realize that hope can be a dangerous thing.” I was amazed at how well Heidi tapped into who Louise Alcott was in her personal and professional life in both current and historical timelines. Furthermore, I liked how the author revealed facts about Louise Alcott (many of it in Alcott’s words from her jo I was hooked from the start as the author introduces a hurting young lady, named Taylor in “1995 Concord, Massachusetts, she thinks, “Thirteen isn’t quite grown-up, but it’s old enough for a girl to realize that hope can be a dangerous thing.” I was amazed at how well Heidi tapped into who Louise Alcott was in her personal and professional life in both current and historical timelines. Furthermore, I liked how the author revealed facts about Louise Alcott (many of it in Alcott’s words from her journals) and that of her family life through the use of tour guides at the Orchard House in the current timeline. Not only that, but I liked how Heidi applied Louise Alcott’s life’s principles in the current story line as Louise was a strong woman, a freethinker, who worked hard to overcome poverty, and depression. She was a woman ahead of her time. I am fascinated at how many people adore Louise Abbott and her novel the little Women. Louise Alcott was a multi-talented lady who wrote short Stories, Plays, and poems (in her name and in her pen name) not only that she volunteered as a nurse’s aide in the war effort. The author brings that out in this novel. I did not know that you could visit Louise’s child home called The Orchard House. I enjoyed going there and seeing it through the characters eyes (present and past) The author’s love for Louise May Alcott and this house shine throughout this story. This novel is a grand adventure you will not want to miss. I liked that each chapter started with a quote from Louise Alcott. This book would work well for your book club pick it’s rich in character and has a story that will tug at your heart. Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! The Book Club Network blog www.bookfun.org

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Gohlke

    I’ve loved Little Women and Louisa May Alcott since I was a child. She is one of the great inspirations of my life. Setting a story in and in the vicinity of Orchard House, the Alcott’s Concord, MA home, was a perfect draw. In this well researched time-split story, Heidi Chiavaroli brings Alcott’s voice to life through quotes from her books, letters and journals as Louisa befriends and mentors a younger woman, a woman determined to marry despite signs that her intended may not be the man she wan I’ve loved Little Women and Louisa May Alcott since I was a child. She is one of the great inspirations of my life. Setting a story in and in the vicinity of Orchard House, the Alcott’s Concord, MA home, was a perfect draw. In this well researched time-split story, Heidi Chiavaroli brings Alcott’s voice to life through quotes from her books, letters and journals as Louisa befriends and mentors a younger woman, a woman determined to marry despite signs that her intended may not be the man she wants to believe he is. Chiavaroli confronts the insidious and manipulative nature of domestic abuse by those who perpetrate it. She expresses so well the confusion and desperate wish of those who are victimized to believe things will get better if they don’t give up on their abuser. Victims hope that their abuser has repented and changed when they say they’re sorry, beg for forgiveness and “another chance,” vowing that the abuse will never happen again. Somehow, even in the begging, the abused become convinced that they are the problem, the one who set the abuser off, that they’re the one who needs to change so things go smoothly in the future. Chiavaroli skillfully weaves the stories of women, past and present, on that very difficult journey from manipulation to truth. She brings to light the challenges of those who walk beside and support friends and loved ones on that journey. For all who’ve loved Little Women and for all who champion the dignity of all women, The Orchard House is the perfect read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Alfveby Crea

    4.5 stars What a sweeping literary dual-timeline story encompassing Louisa May Alcott, her family, and her friend Joanna in 1865, and best friends Taylor & Victoria attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott's home The Orchard House in 2001, to the present day in 2019. Themes of adoption, belonging, independence, and the difficult topics of betrayal and spousal abuse are dealt with very realistically. The importance of family vs independence, trusting no one but yourself vs trusting in God are im 4.5 stars What a sweeping literary dual-timeline story encompassing Louisa May Alcott, her family, and her friend Joanna in 1865, and best friends Taylor & Victoria attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott's home The Orchard House in 2001, to the present day in 2019. Themes of adoption, belonging, independence, and the difficult topics of betrayal and spousal abuse are dealt with very realistically. The importance of family vs independence, trusting no one but yourself vs trusting in God are important lessons learned along the way. Author Heidi Chiavaroli has done her research and weaves a very compelling story. She examines this theme in both timelines: "I longed to be free of it all at the same time that I longed to find the place I belonged." "Stories most certainly seem to have healing powers, and I wonder if that is not why we are drawn to them?" "That I am but a speck in this big world. That it has gone on long before me and will continue long after me. But although I am a speck, I have a story to live. A journey. A duty to better it, even in a small way." "Maybe that was part of the belonging. Not clutching so tight to those we held precious that they would break beneath our grip, but releasing them to fly free trusting they would come back." "I find both liberty and home two things I once thought opposites but now I see are not so very different." I highly recommend The Orchard House to all fans of women's fiction, and dual time-line stories! Thank you to the publisher, and to Net Galley for allowing me to read an early copy. All opinions are my own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kailey

    I loved this book! I really connected with Taylor and Johanna. I loved how this book made me feel deeply. There’s also something special about books that are about authors. Heidi Chiavaroli has proven again why she’s a must read author! I highly recommend this book! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli was an emotional read. This is not a light hearted escape, this story will suck you in and rip out your heart and try to put it back together. The story takes part in three different time periods. Taylor as a teen to college and then current day as an adult with a thriving career. In addition, we have the story of Louisa and Johanna. Taylor was a girl trying to fit in after her family abandons her. Even when her best friend’s family adopts her, she struggles The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli was an emotional read. This is not a light hearted escape, this story will suck you in and rip out your heart and try to put it back together. The story takes part in three different time periods. Taylor as a teen to college and then current day as an adult with a thriving career. In addition, we have the story of Louisa and Johanna. Taylor was a girl trying to fit in after her family abandons her. Even when her best friend’s family adopts her, she struggles to fit in and feel like she belongs. Years later with a thriving career she is still trying to feel whole. I really struggled with Victoria’s betrayal. This might be a trigger for readers who have been betrayed by a friend/sister. I enjoyed the Author notes in the back that explained how much of the story was based on actual events regarding Louisa, John and Johanna. I received this book from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily P

    I can't tell you when the last time I finished a book and was desperate for there to be more! Chiavaroli has added to the wonderful legacy of Louisa May Alcott with this stunning time slip book. I spent quite a few late nights gobbling up this story of heartache, second chances and the redemption of life's hurts. Taylor is a woman faced with the loss of a relationship with the man she thought was "the One" as well as the loss of connection with a family who took her in, the Bennetts. Taylor has I can't tell you when the last time I finished a book and was desperate for there to be more! Chiavaroli has added to the wonderful legacy of Louisa May Alcott with this stunning time slip book. I spent quite a few late nights gobbling up this story of heartache, second chances and the redemption of life's hurts. Taylor is a woman faced with the loss of a relationship with the man she thought was "the One" as well as the loss of connection with a family who took her in, the Bennetts. Taylor has made her way, and she's not going to let the pain of the past catch up with her new life as successful author Casey Hood. But in all her attempts to overcome the pain and heartache of the past to become a self made woman, Taylor finds out news that will send her back to Concord to reunite with her adoptive family. Back to the betrayal. Back to the guilt. Johanna is an optimistic young woman excited at the prospect of becoming a helper at Orchard House. Louisa, the friend she's been writing to over the months since the loss of her brother, John, to his injuries sustained in battle has opened a new opportunity to Johanna. She'd be able to go someplace new, experience a different kind of life and perhaps be able to have her poetry published. Johanna steps into a new world full of chances and optimism, but falls into a relationship with Louisa's neighbor Nathan very quickly. Could this be the man of her dreams? Will she become a famous author? Or will her haste and naivete cause her more heartache than she'd ever dreamed? This story is one that will stick with me for a while. I adore Louisa May Alcott, and the history and detail that Chiavaroli shares in this book is top notch. Chiavaroli spends so much time researching--it shows in each of her novels-- and always benefits the reader! I will say there are difficult themes connected to this book, so be aware there are mentions of domestic violence and depression/suicide. However, these topics are discussed in Chiavaroli's trademark honest style--not sugar coating, but not explicit, either. She does a masterful job in addressing the redemption of difficult moments, be they in a family situation or a marital one. Please do not miss this one--it was transformative for me and I know it is one that I will go back to again and again. It would be a great book club discussion book and could be a great gift for anyone who loves "Little Women" and its prolific author, Louisa May Alcott. I was an early reader, thanks to the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Becca-Rae Weidel

    Once again Heidi Chiavaroli has proven herself as to why she is on my must-read favorite authors list. Not only that, but this one has weaseled its way  up to becoming my new favorite of hers. For those who love story--whether that's through reading, writing, or both--you will GET this book, with no explanations necessary. There's a reason why books are referred to as authors' "book babies". Whether the stories are fictional or not, there is always a piece of the writer found within the pages. Wr Once again Heidi Chiavaroli has proven herself as to why she is on my must-read favorite authors list. Not only that, but this one has weaseled its way  up to becoming my new favorite of hers. For those who love story--whether that's through reading, writing, or both--you will GET this book, with no explanations necessary. There's a reason why books are referred to as authors' "book babies". Whether the stories are fictional or not, there is always a piece of the writer found within the pages. Writing is vulnerable. It's a way to release parts of yourself you may or may not even know existed. It can be both painful and healing. As a reader, you probably have not only heard the term "I have nonfictional feelings for fictional characters", but you have a deep understanding of the reality of it. When you step inside the world of characters, their lives somehow end up interwoven into your own. Where your world ends and theirs begins often finds itself fading into absence. Stories are more than just words on a page, but they become a part of you. It was interesting to see an author write a story about an author who thinks through how she became an author and why. I have no doubt in my mind that there's some real truth woven into the fiction there.  Heidi Chiavaroli is known for tackling impossible topics in powerful ways that both challenge and stretch your empathy. This one is no exception. My heart was taken on an intense ride through the insecurities of adoption and the physical and emotional scars of domestic abuse. The characters and their stories were so well developed that they all felt like real people--not just the historical Louisa May Alcott. A well written story is never long enough, and even though this one was over 400 pages long, I wasn't ready to let the characters go in the end. The author also did an incredible job of planting the seeds of faith throughout the narrative, concluding with a message that points the reader to Christ in a way that tugs at their heart in a tangible way without feeling forced or cheesy. It's absolutely Christian Fiction done right. I cannot recommend this book enough. It's the 2021 bookish hug us avid readers and writers could all use. For some it can also be a real help in difficult circumstances. I guarantee this one will find its way on my favorite reads list for the year. Nothing short of masterful. *I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Bair

    I absolutely love Little Women, having been named after Jo Bhaer in the book since my last name is Bair. Anyhow I was so thrilled to get an arc of this. I grew up traveling to Boston every year, visiting friends in Concord, walking Walden Pond, and going to Orchard House. Then attending college in Boston so this book brought back so many fond memories. I felt like I could picture everything the author described so perfectly and was surprised how her writing brought back such vivid memories. I alm I absolutely love Little Women, having been named after Jo Bhaer in the book since my last name is Bair. Anyhow I was so thrilled to get an arc of this. I grew up traveling to Boston every year, visiting friends in Concord, walking Walden Pond, and going to Orchard House. Then attending college in Boston so this book brought back so many fond memories. I felt like I could picture everything the author described so perfectly and was surprised how her writing brought back such vivid memories. I almost cried wishing I could just travel and take a walk at Walden Pond right now. I loved that coincidentally the main character, Taylor, in present day, is my age and in a similar point in life having fulfilled most of her dreams and searching for home. So relatable and realistic. I also appreciate an older single girl for once. The sister conflict was relatable as well, though extreme we’ve all known people who have been through betrayals. I thought the author did a great job weaving the past and present plots together. The letters, the marriages, everything. I loved Johanna from the 1800s, was annoyed with, and pitied her. I enjoyed Louisa and some of the things she said to Johanna-things I know my 37 year old self has said to people I was mentoring. So much was relatable and made me laugh. Strong characters. There’s a lot of depth and layers and things to think about in this book. Along with serious issues like abuse, marriage, adoption, belonging, independence, freedoms, and the choices we make that form our lives. I absolutely cannot say enough good stuff about this book. It left me thinking. It’s real and raw and not the feel good predictable sap we sometimes expect, yet the ending is satisfying and real. I loved this and will be recommending it to everyone I know who loves Little Women. Thank you netgalley for this arc! I was given this book in exchange for my honest review, opinions are all my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Velma

    I am a huge Louisa May Alcott fan, and I have loved all of Heidi Chiavaroli's previous novels, so I have been eagerly waiting for this novel to be published. I was not disappointed! This was one of those stories that I couldn't stop reading but hated for it to end. I love timeslip novels, and Heidi Chiavaroli always does such a wonderful job of drawing me into both the contemporary and historical timelines and makes me care about the characters in both. In both time periods, she addresses the is I am a huge Louisa May Alcott fan, and I have loved all of Heidi Chiavaroli's previous novels, so I have been eagerly waiting for this novel to be published. I was not disappointed! This was one of those stories that I couldn't stop reading but hated for it to end. I love timeslip novels, and Heidi Chiavaroli always does such a wonderful job of drawing me into both the contemporary and historical timelines and makes me care about the characters in both. In both time periods, she addresses the issue of domestic abuse in a sensitive way. The contemporary story addresses adoption as well. I will not give a summary of the book because others have done so, but I will say this book touched me deeply, and I highly recommend it whether you are a Louisa May Alcott fan or not. Thank you Heidi Chiavaroli for your beautiful story!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Heidi Chiavaroli is my new fav author...I love her unique style of writing. Her latest book “ The Orchard House” is one you don’t want to miss! Combining the old with the new in this historical fiction, she has definitely produced a wonderful story that will keep you turning pages till the very end!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leslie M.

    3.5 stars I love split-time novels, and I've read and enjoyed the author's prior books. I was excited to read her latest. As I've come to expect from Chiavaroli, she intertwines the two stories into a tale with themes of love, friendship, trials, acceptance, forgiveness, and family. The author crafts characters which are realistic, strong characters searching for their purpose in life. Past and present events are intricately woven together. I really enjoyed the details on Louisa May Alcott. I'd e 3.5 stars I love split-time novels, and I've read and enjoyed the author's prior books. I was excited to read her latest. As I've come to expect from Chiavaroli, she intertwines the two stories into a tale with themes of love, friendship, trials, acceptance, forgiveness, and family. The author crafts characters which are realistic, strong characters searching for their purpose in life. Past and present events are intricately woven together. I really enjoyed the details on Louisa May Alcott. I'd expected there to be a bit more than there was. Most of the story centered on Taylor in 2019. While I liked her storyline, I would've liked a bit more on Johanna's story in the 1860s. However, it's obvious that the author did her research on this emotional read. Serious, deep topics are addressed, leaving the reader with a lot to ponder, such as: abuse, adoption, and freedoms, all of which play a role in shaping one's life. I enjoyed the Author notes in the back . They explained how much and which parts of the story was based on actual events regarding Louisa, John, and Johanna. One of my favorite quotes: “I am but a speck in this big world. That it has gone on long before me and will continue long after me. But although I am a speck, I have a story to live. A journey. A duty to better it, even in a small way.” Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn't required to leave a positive review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Bridgewater

    I have read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott when I was a little teenager. I loved the character of Jo. I scribbled all the time. I had tons of stories in notebooks. Nothing worthwhile to publish, but writing was my outlet. So when Heidi Chiavaroli wrote The Orchard House, a story that takes place at the Alcott’s home, I honestly could not wait to read the story. The story is unique, yet predictable. I adored the struggles that Victoria and Taylor, the modern day characters had to struggle with I have read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott when I was a little teenager. I loved the character of Jo. I scribbled all the time. I had tons of stories in notebooks. Nothing worthwhile to publish, but writing was my outlet. So when Heidi Chiavaroli wrote The Orchard House, a story that takes place at the Alcott’s home, I honestly could not wait to read the story. The story is unique, yet predictable. I adored the struggles that Victoria and Taylor, the modern day characters had to struggle with. While I was not adopted, I understand feeling alone at times. It is probably why I am an introvert. It is easier to be alone, so that you do not become hurt by others. Growing up was not the best for me. My childhood home life was not the greatest. There were moments that Chiavaroli wrote things as Taylor was a young teenager that rung so near to my heart. I feel, even today, the disappointment of not being able to write what God has chosen me to write. This story was well-crafted and tugged at my heartstrings more than once. I will definitely have to go out and purchase a paperback copy to put on the shelf next to my Louisa May Alcott collection. This is a great story! Fans of Alcott or writing should definitely read this book. It was a wonderful way to spend my time. I highly recommend this novel. I received a complimentary copy of The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    As a younger child, Taylor is abandoned by her biological family. She has one connection to hold on to: a copy of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women." When she is taken is by her best friend Victoria's family, Taylor wants nothing more to belong. But she is afraid of trusting, certain that she will never be enough. The girls attend writing camp at Louisa May Alcott's home, Orchard House, now preserved as a museum, and bond over their aspirations to be writers. Just as Taylor believes she has foun As a younger child, Taylor is abandoned by her biological family. She has one connection to hold on to: a copy of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women." When she is taken is by her best friend Victoria's family, Taylor wants nothing more to belong. But she is afraid of trusting, certain that she will never be enough. The girls attend writing camp at Louisa May Alcott's home, Orchard House, now preserved as a museum, and bond over their aspirations to be writers. Just as Taylor believes she has found a secure relationship that she can depend on, a betrayal sends her running from the only stable home she's ever known. Taylor's story picks up years later, when her adoptive mother is diagnosed with cancer. Taylor returns to Concord, Massachusetts to face the pain of the past and the family she left behind. This story, set in the 21st century, is interspersed with a second story-line set after the American Civil War. Joanna Suhre's brother was one of Louisa May Alcott's patients in a Union army hospital. Johanna accepts a position taking caring for Alcott's parents and home in Concord, while she travels abroad. Despite her new-found friend's cautions, Johanna forms an attachment to Nathan Bancroft and finds herself in an abusive marriage. When Taylor and Victoria discover hidden manuscripts at Orchard House, they set about finding the rest of Johanna's story. I enjoy split-timeline narratives. I had mixed feelings about this one. There are obvious parallels between the two stories. And Johanna's story serves a purpose to the modern narrative in the latter portions of the book. But, for the most part, the earlier narrative didn't add much to the modern story line about family trauma, a search for belonging, and the meaning Louisa May Alcott and Orchard House had for Taylor and Victoria's relationship. Johanna's storyline was not less interesting or less well-written, but it often felt like I was reading two sperate novels with parallel themes, rather than a story that was intimately tied-together. Johanna's narrative may have served its purposes better had it either begun later (when it becomes part of the mains story), and/or been worked into the novel as something we discover along with the main characters (rather than a story that unfolds in its own time). Johanna's storyline is also less grounded in Orchard House as a place than the primary story is. At times the writing flowed fluidly and with raw emotional immediacy. (I had tears in my eyes on page two). Chiavaroli is adept at writing about the characters' emotional traumas, and also in making use of contemporary Concord as a setting. She includes various local landmarks to achieve am authentic sense of place. The center-piece of Orchard House, and the evocative meaning the museum has as a significant touchstone is well-established. However, Chiavaroli misses an opportunity to contrast the domestic idealization of Alcott's literary classic, and the fictional layers of meaning projected onto Alcott's real home and family life, in her novel about domestic trauma. The novel is well-researched, skillfully incorporating Alcott scholarship, in addition to Alcott's literary works and biography. (Although one of her characters made for an inexperienced museum director!) Chiavaroli, furthermore, achieves authenticity in recreating Alcott's voice, largely by directly using Alcott's own words. She also borrows a scene from "Little Women" as a pivotal climax in Johanna's plot. As a devote Alcott fan, this was appreciated, at the same time that it stuck this reader as problematic. Alcott's words are silently incorporated into the novel, as if they are Chiavaroli's writing (only to be generally acknowledged at the end). The scene borrowed from "Little Women," likewise felt inauthentic for its very familiarity, though Chiavaroli gives it a distinctive impact. This was a moving novel about sisterhood and family, exploring the interconnections of the past and the present in how we forge bonds, approach forgiveness, and find our place in the world. Fans of Louisa May Alcott and devotees of Orchard House will find much to enjoy in the novel. The book's Christian themes were subtle and were unapparent until the last pages. Trigger Warning: domestic abuse, PTSD

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