9. The Orchard reads a little like a dark fairy tale. What are some similarities between The Orchard and a fairy tale?

10. In one scene, we're given insight into what drives Ruth. In many ways she's a product of her time, her generation, her childhood and her environment, all of which led to a need for admiration on a social level and the desire to rise above her heritage. Through marriage, she left her family history behind and gained a respect previously unknown to her. Her behavior would have been considered acceptable in certain circles, and her battle was not only for the farm but for her newly found identity. Did you ever feel sympathy for her as the life she'd worked so hard to build collapsed?

11. If Adrian hadn't developed cancer, what do you think would have happened? Would anything have changed?

12. We know that salesmen once drank the herbicide they were selling as a way of demonstrating the product's "safety," but do you think Lily really existed?

13. What scene impacted you the most?

14. In the final scene, do the roses have significance beyond a simple gift of flowers?

15. Did you learn anything new about apples? If so, what?

16. Do you have a favorite apple?

17. Will you ever look at apples in the same way?

Read O's review of The Orchard

See which books made O's 2011 fall reading list


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