Review: The Promise of Pierson Orchard – Kate Brandes

As I have been eagerly anticipating May 2, ACOWAR release date (future Sara is currently on page 173), I’ve been reaching for some of the smaller books on my TBR self to satiate my reading appetite.

While The Promise of Pierson Orchard by Kate Brandes only clocks in at 286 pages, the Goodreads response to this book tells of a rich and developed story from a debut author.

Did I find The Promise of Pierson Orchard to be the hit Goodreads is telling me it is? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.

The Book 

Long before fracking ever came to Minden, Pennsylvania, the fissures in the Pierson family were developing into major fault lines.

Green Energy arrives, offering the rural community of Minden the dream of making more money from their land by leasing natural gas rights for drilling. But orchardist, Jack Pierson, fears his brother, Wade, who now works for Green Energy, has returned to town after a twenty-year absence so desperate to be the hero that he’ll blind their hometown to the potential dangers. Jack also worries his brother will try to rekindle his relationship with LeeAnn, Jack’s wife, who’s recently left him. To protect his hometown and to fulfill a promise to himself, Jack seeks out his mother and environmental lawyer, Stella Brantley, who abandoned Minden–and Jack and Wade–many, many years ago.

The Review 

In my past reading experience I always have trouble getting into stories about dysfunctional families, however, The Promise of Pierson Orchard was not one I struggled with.

Brandes had a way of explaining fracking, and its economical and environmental ramifications, in a way that I didn’t feel less intelligent for not knowing how it worked before hand.

Each character was flawed, and that’s the nice way of putting it.

I particularly enjoyed reading from Jack’s point of view because he had to deal with the strains of his marriage with LeAnn, the return of his brother Wade, and rekindling his relationship with his mother Stella.

I also enjoyed every time Elzer, the town mayor/lawyer, weaved his way into the narrative, as he was a grumpy old man who acted as each characters very own Jiminy Cricket.

While the story is not fast paced by any means, I don’t think Brandes intended it to be.

It is a slow burn full of loss, hardship, love triangles, and fight clubs, that cultivates into an explosive last 70 pages.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase Links

Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo

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