10 books like The Apple Orchard

By Susan Wiggs,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Apple Orchard. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Power of One

By Bryce Courtenay,

Book cover of The Power of One

Never would I expect to fall in love with a book whose anchor is boxing, but that’s exactly what happened when I read The Power of One. Possibly because Peekay—an abandoned boy of English heritage growing up in South Africa after the Boer War and during the rise of Nazi Germany—is so damn loveable. Possibly because the author is adept at weaving audacious characters, cultural clash, and mysticism into a delightful yet thought-provoking yarn. The Power of One had me at chapter one when Peekay’s Zulu nanny, a medicine man, and a chicken named Granpa Chook cure his “night water.” It takes some fancy footwork for Peekay to go from bed-wetter to welterweight champion of the world, and I was in the ring with him every step of the way.

The Power of One

By Bryce Courtenay,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Power of One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The Power of One has everything: suspense, the exotic, violence; mysticism, psychology and magic; schoolboy adventures, drama.”
–The New York Times

“Unabashedly uplifting . . . asserts forcefully what all of us would like to believe: that the individual, armed with the spirit of independence–‘the power of one’–can prevail.”
–Cleveland Plain Dealer

In 1939, as Hitler casts his enormous, cruel shadow across the world, the seeds of apartheid take root in South Africa. There, a boy called Peekay is born. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams–which are nothing compared…


The Sixth Lamentation

By William Brodrick,

Book cover of The Sixth Lamentation

William Brodrick is a British solicitor who became a lawyer after leaving a monastery where he was a monk. Like Brodrick, I have re-invented myself as an author after 40 years of working as a medical educator. Knowing what it took for me to succeed in a new career, I admire what it cost the author to achieve such a radical shift. Monk-turned-lawyer-turned-Novelist Brodrick has written a stunning story about a guard at a WWII death camp who is being brought to trial fifty years after the war. The story is told by Anselm, a lawyer who left the Old Baily in London where he worked as a solicitor, to become a monk at Larkwood Priory (the reverse of the author’s life).

Another reason this story speaks to me so profoundly has to do with my background. I am the eldest child in an abusive family that enforced silence about…

The Sixth Lamentation

By William Brodrick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sixth Lamentation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What should you do if the world has turned against you? When Father Anselm is asked this question by an old man at Larkwood Priory, his response, to claim sanctuary, is to have greater resonance than he could ever have imagined. For that evening the old man returns, demanding the protection of the church. His name is Eduard Schwermann and he is wanted by the police as a suspected war criminal. With her life running out, Agnes Aubret feels it is time to unburden to her granddaughter Lucy the secrets she has been carrying for so long. Fifty years earlier,…


The Invisible Bridge

By Julie Orringer,

Book cover of The Invisible Bridge

This is a 750+ page book and a tour de force. I have profound sympathy for the Jewish people, and the horrors they endured under Nazi rule. None of the things I have suffered in my life, including living with a violent alcoholic father, came even close to the fears and degradation experienced by the people in this book. My own survival techniques included hiding and avoidance of anything that would trigger my father’s anger. As the eldest, I also tried to shield my younger siblings. Thus, I was as unobtrusive as possible, a survival technique minorities have used for centuries.

This story begins in 1937 with a young Hungarian Jewish man who goes to Paris to study architecture. Asked to deliver a letter to a woman’s nephew, he falls into a complicated relationship with the letter’s recipient and eventually, despite her own dark secrets, they fall in love. As…

The Invisible Bridge

By Julie Orringer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Invisible Bridge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

Paris, 1937. Andras Levi, an architecture student, has arrived from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to Clara Morgenstern a young widow living in the city. When Andras meets Clara he is drawn deeply into her extraordinary and secret life, just as Europe's unfolding tragedy sends them both into a state of terrifying uncertainty.

From a remote Hungarian village to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labour camps and…


Five Quarters of the Orange

By Joanne Harris,

Book cover of Five Quarters of the Orange

This book is powerful to me because of the intense mother/daughter conflict she relates. My mother was lovely, well-read, and held an important position at our state university. However, she was also extremely critical of her children. Because I never rebelled against my mother, I was entranced with Joanne Harris’ young character, Framboise, who plans and carries out a rebellion against her mother that is worthy of the French resistance. Many years later, when Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous woman they hold responsible for a tragedy during the German occupation.

The past and present are inextricably entwined in a scrapbook of recipes and memories that Framboise inherited from her now-deceased mother. The journal contains the key to the tragedy that indelibly marked that summer of her ninth year. The mother…

Five Quarters of the Orange

By Joanne Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Five Quarters of the Orange as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gripping page-turner set in occupied France from international multi-million copy seller Joanne Harris. With the sensuous writing we come to expect from her, this book has a darker core. Perfect for fans of Victoria Hislop, Fiona Valpy, Maggie O'Farrell and Rachel Joyce, this fascinating and vivid journey through human cruelty and kindness is a gripping and compelling read.

'Her strongest writing yet: as tangy and sometimes bitter as Chocolat was smooth' -- Independent
'Harris indulges her love of rich and mouthwatering descriptive passages, appealing to the senses... Thoroughly enjoyable' -- Observer
'Outstanding...beautifully written' -- Daily Mail
'Very thought provoking.…


Royal Wedding

By Meg Cabot,

Book cover of Royal Wedding: A Princess Diaries Novel

I had never read the Princess Diaries books but was a fan of the movies. I had also read some of Meg Cabot’s adult novels. When I heard that Meg was releasing an adult installment of her popular princess series, I had to read it. Royal Wedding follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan her fairytale wedding. This book was also unique as it connected to a series of middle grade novels about Mia’s younger half-sister. (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess) I wound up buying my daughter the whole series for her Easter basket during the first part of the pandemic as I thought it might cheer her up. It did!

Royal Wedding

By Meg Cabot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Royal Wedding as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Meg Cabot, the Number One New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first New Adult instalment, featuring the now grown-up Princess Mia!
Royal Wedding follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding - but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.
For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community centre, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements,…


I'll Never Tell

By Catherine McKenzie,

Book cover of I'll Never Tell

If you love to unravel a mystery with a hint of suspense, I’ll Never Tell is an exemplary example of a tale told from multiple points of view, with the requisite family secrets, lies, and betrayal, and a messy past getting mired into the present. A cleverly plotted, fast-paced read.

I'll Never Tell

By Catherine McKenzie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I'll Never Tell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Deeply buried secrets make for a disturbing family reunion in bestselling author Catherine McKenzie's tantalizing novel of psychological suspense, named one of the Hottest Books of Summer by Goodreads.

What happened to Amanda Holmes?

Twenty years ago, she was found bludgeoned in a rowboat at the MacAllister family's Camp Macaw. No one was ever charged with the crime.

Now, after their parents' sudden deaths, the MacAllister siblings return to camp to read the will and decide what to do with the prime real estate the camp occupies. Ryan needs to sell. Margaux hasn't made up her mind. Mary believes in…


The Family Upstairs

By Lisa Jewell,

Book cover of The Family Upstairs

Right from the very first page this book is enthralling. It was creepy and intriguing and enthralling – the characters are all fascinating and the plot is a stew of content from misplaced love, a bit of madness, actually quite a bit of madness, murder, redemption and hope, and a dog! There’s not much more you could want. I have read the sequel.

The Family Upstairs

By Lisa Jewell,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Family Upstairs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I swear I didn't breathe the whole time I was reading it. Gripping, pacy, brilliantly twisty.' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Creepy, intricate and utterly immersive: an excellent holiday read.' GUARDIAN

'A twisty and engrossing story of betrayal and redemption.' IAN RANKIN
____________________________

FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THEN SHE WAS GONE

In a large house in London's fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They've been dead for several days.…


The Kingdom of Liars

By Nick Martell,

Book cover of The Kingdom of Liars: A Novel volume 1

The Kingdom of Liars follows a man named Michael Kingman, the son of a traitor to the crown. The main character’s father was accused of murdering the king’s nine-year-old son, obviously making him unpopular and unwelcome in high society. Michael is petty and self-serving, taking low-level jabs at a world that’s rejected him. When he’s offered the chance to get back into the court, he jumps at it, accidentally uncovering some dark secrets as he does.

This book is great for a number of reasons, but one of the things I love about it is the magic system. In The Kingdom of Liars, the price of using magic is some of your memories. This adds a fun wrinkle to the story, making it hard for our morally grey, magic-wielding characters to trust anything: Even their own memory.

The Kingdom of Liars

By Nick Martell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Kingdom of Liars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael Kingman has been an outsider for as long as he remembers. The court which executed his father also exiled him and his family. They branded him a traitor, and the nobles who had been his friends turned their backs, prepared to let the legendary Kingman family die on Hollow's city streets.

Only they survived.

And it should come as no surprise to Hollow Court, or the King, that they've been searching for the truth ever since.
History is written by the winners, truth buried beneath lies until it's Forgotten. Justice seems impossible in a city where the price of…


Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng,

Book cover of Little Fires Everywhere

In this seemingly perfect neighborhood, all that glitters is not gold. This is the story of the unraveling of Shaker Heights, an opulent neighborhood in Ohio. A single mother and her daughter rent a house and change all the unwritten rules in this seemingly perfect community. The story unfolds in a matter that you simply must know, literally, what is going to happen next. The characters are well developed, and you find yourself rooting for the underdog. 

Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Little Fires Everywhere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller!

"Witty, wise, and tender. It's a marvel." -Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and A Slow Fire Burning

"To say I love this book is an understatement. It's a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears." -Reese Witherspoon

From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Our Missing Hearts comes a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their…


Home Before Dark

By Riley Sager,

Book cover of Home Before Dark

Sager’s novel Home Before Dark is set in a large Victorian mansion in the Vermont woods. Nicknamed the House of Horrors, the creep factor for this setting is high. Our protagonist, Maggie, returns after twenty-five years away to learn the truth of what drove her family out of the house late one night when she was only a child. Was the house really haunted as her mother and father had told her for all of those years or is there a logical explanation for the horrible things that had happened there? This novel gets my recommendation because it has three of my favourite things, ghosts, an old, abandoned building, and a protagonist returning to learn the truth. 

Home Before Dark

By Riley Sager,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Home Before Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?

What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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