Catherine Temma Davidson

A Gemma Open Door book

Old apricot trees in a hidden valley yield jars of newly-made jam. The dream of holding on to the family orchard brings the past back to life in this heartwarming story.
—Anna Perera, Guantanamo Boy
Lisa’s grandfather is turning 100, and her family is gathering from across the country to celebrate at Grandpa Joe’s home—a sprawling apricot orchard in southern California. The orchard is both the heart of their family and a reminder of its past.

Like many immigrants to America, Joe and his wife, Anna, fled their home country in one of the horrific ethnic cleansings of the twentieth century. They were forced out of Turkey because they were Greek, but they arrived in the New World full of hope. A piece of land with a thriving orchard gave a new beginning to a new American family.

Lisa wants to preserve the beloved orchard that Joe built with his own hands, but to her bitter disappointment, everyone else in the family wants to sell. They all have busy lives and families of their own. Lisa is gearing up for a battle—one that intensifies when her college-age daughter falls in love with the wrong man.

Old divisions and the longing to hold on to tradition make it hard to see a path forward. Will the family’s history tear it apart—or will they find deeper ties to bind them together?
Catherine Temma has created a finely nuanced portrait of a family facing change in a complex, multi-cultural world. Written with a poet’s eye for detail, The Orchard is a feast for the imagination—and a moving reminder of all that nourishes and strengthens the human heart.
—Marta Maretich, The Merchants of Light, The Possibility of Lions, The Bear Suit
Catherine Temma Davidson is the author of the novel, The Priest Fainted, “a resonant mélange of wisdom and humor, a testimony to the strong bonds of family and cultural traditions” (Publishers Weekly). She has published two volumes of poetry, Inheriting the Ocean, and Behind the Lines. Her poetry has won acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, including a 2016 commendation for the International Troubadour Poetry Prize. The grandchild of immigrants and an immigrant herself, Catherine teaches writing to international students at Regent’s University and works as a writing consultant at Amnesty International. She serves on the board of Exiled Writers Ink, an organization that promotes writing by refugees and asylum seekers. Originally from Southern California, Catherine lives in London with her family.

The Orchard
Catherine Temma Davidson
Paper, 100 pages
Reading level: tk