Cider House Rules, The

John Irving
First published in 1985, The Cider House Rules is set in rural Maine in the first half of the twentieth century. The novel tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch–saint and obstetrician, founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Cloud’s, ether addict and abortionist. This is also the story of Dr. Larch’s favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted.


Reviewed: 2021-08-01
Ballantine Books
Reviewed: 2019-03-03

After reading Garp years ago, then being really bowled over by Owen Meany last year, I decided it was time to read another Irving "classic" so I picked The Cider House Rules, and I'm so glad I did. I'd seem the movie ages ago, when it came out, but the book is (needless to say) so much better. In fact, there were huge parts of the story that I had no idea existed before reading the novel. I honestly feel like this is not just a good read, but an important book -- for many reasons, but not least the reality Irving sheds on parenting, orphans and abortion. I was amazed at how much I liked this - much like I was amazed at loving Owen Meany last year. I may have to check out more Irving, but I don't want to ruin a good streak like this.

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