The Orchard

The Orchard

A commanding debut and a poignant coming-of-age story about a devout Jewish high school student whose plunge into the secularized world threatens everything he knows of himself

Ari Eden’s life has always been governed by strict rules. In ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn, his days are dedicated to intense study and religious rituals, and adolescence feels profoundly lonely. So when his family announces that they are moving to a glitzy Miami suburb, Ari seizes his unexpected chance for reinvention.

Enrolling in an opulent Jewish academy, Ari is stunned by his peers’ dizzying wealth, ambition, and shameless pursuit of life’s pleasures. When the academy’s golden boy, Noah, takes Ari under his wing, Ari finds himself entangled in the school’s most exclusive and wayward group. These friends are magnetic and defiant—especially Evan, the brooding genius of the bunch, still living in the shadow of his mother’s death.

Influenced by their charismatic rabbi, the group begins testing their religion in unconventional ways. Soon Ari and his friends are pushing moral boundaries and careening toward a perilous future—one in which the traditions of their faith are repurposed to mysterious, tragic ends.

Mesmerizing and playful, heartrending and darkly romantic, The Orchard probes the conflicting forces that determine who we become: the heady relationships of youth, the allure of greatness, the doctrines we inherit, and our concealed desires.

Title:The Orchard
ISBN:9780062974747
Format Type:

    The Orchard Reviews

  • Angela M

    Looking back as an adult on his teenage years Aryeh (Ari) Eden, sets the stage for the novel : “ As a teenager, I felt this neatly encapsulated suffocation of my childhood, the trackless wasteland o...

  • Elyse  Walters

    I really loved this book. A reader doesn’t need to be Jewish to enjoy the intimate nuanced- the conscience-ridden and carefully wrought, candor, humor, or the tragic underlying vulnerability and sub...

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    Well! This was promising, breathtaking, gripping and emotional! Such a riveting, moving, powerful, addictive coming of age story! I don’t want to compare this book with the other novels! Especially ...

  • karen

    a jewish The Secret History? this could redeem 2020 for me....

  • Sleepless Dreamer

    In the spirit of celebrating Judaism, I'm going to start this review with a teeny tiny dvar torah. So Jews call themselves Am Israel after Jacob changed his name to Israel. Israel has two meanings: ...

  • Cheri

    As this coming-of-age story begins, Aryeh Eden is a 17 year-old living in Williamsburg, an Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn, with his parents, attending a rundown school and spending his days and nig...

  • Theresa

    "The Orchard" had an amazing beginning, but fell flat around the middle mark. I really liked Ari. He was a wonderful, sensitive, anxious, and well-rounded character. I could really feel his anguish an...

  • Jessica Woodbury

    It has finally happened. After more than 20 years of books being compared to THE SECRET HISTORY that are, in actuality, not like THE SECRET HISTORY at all, we finally have a winner. In fact, not only ...

  • Marilyn

    The Orchard by David Hopen was a very powerful and emotional coming of age debut novel. I listened to the audiobook on Overdrive that was narrated by Micky Shiloah. The audiobook was rather long but I...

  • Max Birner

    This is a scenario where I'm certain that I would've enjoyed this more as a paper copy rather than an audiobook. My main issue with this book is that it would alternate from highschoolers talking abou...