Down the end of Argilla Road in Ipswich stand the remains of the Robertson family’s orchard; you pass it on the way to Crane Beach. During the Great Depression, Adele Robertson single-handedly strived to keep the family business going. Her struggle reflects the country’s story in those hard years.
The Orchard is an exquisitely beautiful and poignant memoir of a young woman's single-handed struggle to save her New England farm in the depths of the Great Depression. Recently discovered by the author's daughter, it tells the story of Adele "Kitty" Robertson, young and energetic, but unprepared by her Radcliffe education for the rigors of apple farming in those bitter times. Alone at the end of a country road, with only a Great Dane for company, plagued by debts, broken machinery, and killing frosts, Kitty revives the old orchard after years of neglect. Every day is a struggle, but every day she is also rewarded by the beauty of the world and the unexpected kindness of neighbors and hired workers.
Animated by quiet courage and simple goodness, The Orchard stands as a deeply moving celebration of decency and beauty in the midst of grim prospects and crushing poverty.
About the Author
Adele Crockett Robertson was an award-winning writer from New England. John Updike called her memoir The Orchard "brave and beautiful." Her essays and columns frequently appeared in the Ipswich Chronicle and were compiled into a book called Measuring Time—by an Hourglass under the name Kitty Crockett Robertson.