Book Review: The Desolated Orchard – John F. D. Taff


When a farm hand falls for a mysterious woman he befriends a fellow worker who has a very interesting story to tell; a warning even…

Just how much are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of love? John F. D. Taff’s ‘ The Desolated Orchard’ is a novella that packs more emotional punch than some writers do in entire novels. I have been a fan of John’s work since I read his 5* collection for Grey Matter Press called ‘ The End in all Beginning’s’ – a series of short stories that were nominated for a Stoker award and quite literally blew me away. Here was a collection with a heart and soul that contained a story (Visitation) that made this reader weep like a little baby. I’m 36 years old and I don’t get upset very often but, wow! This one hit home hard.

What makes a Taff story stand out from the thousands of other horror stories out there is the writing. Regardless of the books length, his characters are rich, living, breathing people, his dialogue is crisp, natural and fee flowing, and the stories are always undeniably original and emotional. I always feel that I’m not simply reading his stories but living them, This is what separates the great writers from the good ones.

‘ The Desolated Orchard’ is another wonderful story that will longer long after the final page has been turned. A story within a story, told my a master writer who shows no signs of dropping the ball. Brilliant stuff (again).

You can get a copy of this fine novella from here.

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