The Blue Orchard

blueorchardby Jackson Taylor

Fiction (US), 416 pages
Publisher: Touchstone; 1st edition, Jan 12, 2010
ISBN-10: 1416592946
ISBN-13: 978-1416592945

From Booklist: Inspired by the true events of his grandmother’s life and based on interviews with key figures involved with its more shocking aspects, Taylor’s fictionalization of the life of Verna Krone chronicles the explosive decades from the Depression to the dawn of the Civil Rights era [in America], as experienced by one courageous young woman. Forced by her family’s dire poverty into a life of domestic servitude, Verna is endowed with stalwart ambition, a drive that will eventually place her in nursing school and bring her to the employ of Dr. Crampton, a black physician providing illegal but safe abortion services to hundreds of compromised young women. Crampton and Krone are eventually arrested for their activities, victims of the political, moral, and racial prejudices of the era. While awaiting trial, Verna is motivated to take stock of her professional and personal triumphs and losses. Though burdened by a dispassionate, tell-don’t-show narrative style, Taylor nonetheless limns a sweeping representation of the most pivotal events of the past century. — Carol Haggas