Coplin's mesmerizing debut stands out with its depictions of uniquely Western personalities and a stark, gorgeously realized landscape that will settle deeply into readers' bones. In the early twentieth century, Talmadge lives alone amid his huge spread of fruit trees in Washington's Wenatchee Valley. He remains haunted by his teenage sister's disappearance some 50 years earlier, so when two raggedy, smudge-faced girls appear on his land, untrusting, hungry, and pregnant, he feels immediately protective of their safety. Jane and Della have just escaped a terrible situation, and Talmadge aims to do right by them, but tragedy results when their former captor and his thugs come calling. He and a kindly neighbor guide Jane's daughter, Angelene, into young adulthood, and the tender affection this improvised family shares isn't diminished by their reluctance to speak their minds. The prose abounds with poetic imagery, and the quotation-mark-free dialogue, which could seem like an affectation in a different type of story, emphasizes the melding of these solitary characters with the vast, wild place they choose to call home.--Johnson, Sarah Copyright 2010 Booklist Read more.