Unfolding over the course of a single October day, “In the Orchard” zooms in on beautiful and worrisome minutiae. “In the Orchard” focuses on an ordinary day in the life of a family. Credit…Rachel Levit Ruiz When you purchase an independently reviewed book through our site, we earn an affiliate commission. What is the relationship between motherhood and capitalism? It's an uncomfortable question, to put it mildly. There's the invisible (unpaid) labor of caring for children and managing a household. The (also unpaid) emotional labor of keeping track of tasks and deadlines. The still controversial idea of child care as infrastructure. All the mothers who left the workforce during the pandemic. The feeling among my mom's friends, who don't work outside the home, that they should be earning money. Even the term “stay-at-home” mother is inadequate and belittling. In Eliza Minot's compassionate and lyrical new novel, “In the Orchard” (her third after “ The Brambles ” and “ The Tiny One ”), Maisie Moore is acutely aware of this conflict. She's fiercely devoted to her husband, Neil (who works for an organization that recruits doctors to less developed nations), and their brood of four. Taking place over a single October day, from Maisie's nighttime nursing of 2-week-old Esme to the family's outing to an orchard the following afternoon, the novel proceeds in a state of wonder tinged with anxiety and grief. Minot opens with a dream in which Maisie imagines her family […]
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