29 September 2011

The Orchard: A memoir by Theresa Weir

The Orchard by Theresa Weir.

Reading Theresa’s story was like reading about someone I didn’t know. The writing was so involving and exquisite that I had to stop reading, telling myself this is a real story. These events happened to someone. Someone I’ve known for years.

The truth is I’ve never met Theresa in person. We’d become friends on-line. And like many of her on-line friends, I’d learned bits and pieces of her life, learned some of her likes and dislikes, read her wonderful books, and now reading The Orchard, I felt I didn’t know as much about Theresa as I had thought. In fact, turning every page I felt like I was invading her privacy.

But she is sharing her private story with everyone. And I can’t tell you how incredibly brave that is.

I told her before I read the memoir that I was worried about crying. And knowing what the outcome would be, I thought I would get through it without shedding a tear. But once I reached the near end, I felt uncontrollable sadness.

I couldn’t not cry. I couldn’t stop myself from feeling.

If my husband hadn’t been next to me, I would have cried harder than I had in a long time. You reach an age where you learn to hold back your emotions, and as it was I let the tears roll down my cheeks as I wiped them with my hand. Again and again.

Even now I feel like I shouldn’t be sharing Theresa’s secrets, and I’m not. Yet this is the experience you will receive from this memoir. As if you’re sharing in her past, like you were there, watching over her shoulder all those years as she speaks to you about innocence lost, love gained, cherished, and pain endured, while the apple farm surrounds every aspect of one woman’s family in a way that is never forgotten…just like the memoir The Orchard.