Orchard on Fire
1996, paperback, good copy
Shena Mackay's six previous novels have won her critical admiration and a popular audience in England, but her work has not received due recognition in the United States yet. The Orchard on Fire is a concise, domestic novel set in the village of Stonebridge, where the parents of April Harlency have come in 1953 to run the local tea shop. April's private reveries and her entanglement with the grim family life of her best friend, Ruby Richards, fill up a vivid and dramatic year in the wonderfully distinctive life of Stonebridge.
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