There were three themes members noted through the story. The first was the interweaving of tenderness and violence, cowardice and courage. The second theme was the exploration of the difference between solitude and loneliness and the third was how traumatizing experiences early in life affect the remainder of one’s years.
One thing that some found frustrating was how the failure to communicate resulted in so many avoidable problems. For instance, Talmadge often withheld information from Angelene, supposedly to shelter her. But it ended up causing her far more angst than the truth would have had he been more forthcoming.
One member pointed out that the Nez Pearce Indians seemed accurately portrayed. They traditionally were very good with horses, and were partial to Appaloosas.
Thanks again to one member who brought apples, plums, and apliums (a cross between an apple and a plum) to share. Very much in keeping with the orchard theme of our book! Another also treated us to some of the harvest from her garden, in the form of delicious chocolate chip zucchini cookies.