The Orchard is part of the Gemma Open Door for Literacy series.
Lisa’s grandfather is turning 100, and her family is gathering from across the country to celebrate at Grandpa Joe’s home—a sprawling apricot orchard in southern California. The orchard is both the heart of their family and a reminder of its past. Like many immigrants to America, Joe and his wife, Anna, fled their home country in one of the horrific ethnic cleansings of the 20th century. They were forced out of Turkey because they were Greek, but they arrived in the New World full of hope. A piece of land with a thriving orchard gave a new beginning to a new American family. Lisa wants to preserve the beloved orchard that Joe built with his own hands, but to her bitter disappointment, everyone else in the family wants to sell. They all have busy lives and families of their own. Lisa is gearing up for a battle—one that intensifies when her college-age daughter falls in love with the wrong man. Old divisions and the longing to hold on to tradition make it hard to see a path forward. Will the family’s history tear it apart—or will they find deeper ties to bind them together?
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