Special book review – The Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

apple tree yardblurb from goodreads.com, please scroll down for the book club reviews.

Safety and security are commodities you can sell in return for excitement, but you can never buy them back.

Yvonne Carmichael is a geneticist, a scientist renowned in her field but one day, she makes the most irrational of decisions. While she is giving evidence to a Select Committee at the Houses of Parliament, she meets a man and has sex with him in the secluded Chapel in the Crypt. It’s the beginning of a reckless liaison, but there is more to her lover than is at first apparent – as Yvonne discovers when the affair spins out of control and leads inexorably to violence.

Apple Tree Yard is about a woman who makes one rash choice that ends up putting her on trial at the Old Bailey for the most serious of crimes. Like the highly acclaimed Whatever You Love, it is part literary investigation of personal morality, part psychological thriller.

Many thanks to all who participated.


Theresa ‘Terry’ Hetherington

Starting off, i felt Yvonne was in her own bubble, needy,
Guy, nondescript in way its written, not good 2 way marriage, 
X, creepy, secretive, manipulator
George, rapist, sadist,
At 1st wasn’t sure as I kept reading I was hoping she’d see sense & walk away from X, he was too secretive, avoided work talk for himself but knew all about hers, any relationship should surely be even? Or seem to be!
Then as it unravelled I saw why he didn’t tell of his secret life, it wasn’t what he wanted, he was a normal man, not exciting like she thought, easier to play along & be her fantasy man.
I’d thought he played her but after her attack she played him, don’t get me wrong if someone did that to me I’m sure I’d want revenge too, but the last page screamed out, I want you to kill him I want you to smash his face in, wow! That was kept secret & if it hadn’t been? She wouldn’t have tried that hammock for a lot longer!
So who was gullible? Who was used? Guy showed strength that at the start it didn’t seem he had. The family strengthened & then that ending!
An enjoyable book, thought provoking & twisting tale! After all love is blind!


Helen Gray
Enjoyed the book. Like how it started at the end of the story and then bit by bit the story unfolded and the events were revealed. However by the time things were revealed there weren’t really any big surprises. As it got to the end I was racing to finish to see how it ended but a little anticlimactic by then as not really any big surprises.
Although it describes Mark as being a fantasist it was Yvonne who had fantasized about Mark being a Spy – she never reveals that he told her anything about his job etc.
Sad how her relationship with husband was – they loved each other but as Y said they had no intimacy and yet with M who she really didn’t know she could share things. Could understand why she didn’t report the rape or tell Guy as then it’s forever there between them, however I really don’t think I could keep something as huge as that to myself. ( hence why she confided to Mark)
Scary how easily she started the affair and how! Need to make sure get some excitement in less risky places and less risky means!


Amanda Robertson-Sayer
WOW!! What a brilliant book…. Not one I would have chosen for myself so thanks guys 😀😀
This book all about how a quick decision can set off a course of events which will change your life forever, A brilliantly written book which got me thinking about life and where it can lead us.
Yvonne is a geneticist who is married to Guy and has two grown up children. One day she meets a stranger at an event and have an immense attraction that they have sex instantly and start an affair. The man meets her briefly on occasions,he likes sex outside and gives her a secret phone telling her basically nothing about himself which makes it all the more exciting for her.
Then Something something horrible happens to Yvonne and events take over that ends up with her in court and even jail – we knew this from the beginning of the story but we get to see it happen and her life unravel.
I enjoyed this novel hugely. It’s a crime novel but feels like a real drama, something that can actually happen. Apple Tree Yard and Yvonne stuck with me for a while long after I’d finished the story.


Fiona Keegan
I reckon this will be a Marmite read, you will love it or hate it. I was neither and while I enjoyed the book , I rated it as average.
Yvonne, successful in her career is clearly hurt after discovering her husband was having an affair and I wonder if this prompted her further actions. I was hooked at the start but as the book went on describing her liaisons with X I found myself getting bored and was convinced I would not finish it. Thankfully as the story picked up with the the event that sparked the trial and the trial itself I found myself much more involved again.

I felt for Yvonne, she was trusting , lonely and being taken for granted. X it has to be said I hated from the start and that indeed remained the case throughout accumulating in his additional evidence towards the end of the trial.
I certainly wouldn’t rush out to buy another from this author but never the less glad I gave it a bash.


Carla Wilson
I thoroughly enjoyed this book – it did help being away on holiday as I actually had time to read, digest and enjoy it properly without juggling 101 things at once. Certainly made me think about how the female is generally the one within a relationship to put their career/ambitions on hold, so as to do the whole family thing. There were issues within the marriage and although Yvonne didn’t go looking for an affair, she seemed to crave the attention and obviously still hurt from finding out about her husband’s affair. Probably wouldn’t have chosen this had it not have been a book club read, but pleased I read it!!


Linda Thomas
I’m the odd one out here. I did think that Apple Tree Yard was beautifully written but the story was improbable to say the least. A respected academic, in a happy – if humdrum – marriage to another academic, would hardly be likely to have illicit casual sex with a stranger in a smooth suit. I found the whole idea unbelievable and Yvonne was infuriatingly stupid for an intelligent woman

I am quite prepared to believe that the rest of you are right and that I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind for a book of this kind. The book was way way different from my normal reading matter and I am quite happy for it to remain like that. As I said at the beginning of this rant, the writing itself was really classy.


And last but not least my own review.
An interesting book, goes to show what could happen with a mistake in your life and whether it is worth it or not, but some might say there is no mistake but that would all depend on your point of view.
I am not sure if I enjoyed it or not, it is so so, but the trial was enjoyable. The book is written in a different style which I didn´t mind, all from the point of view of Yvonne Carmichael, who gets up to no good with a man who is not her husband and she refers to him as you or X in the book, we don´t actually find out the name of you / X until the end.
There is mostly description of the day to day stuff going on in Yvonne´s life, the things she does, makeup and clothes are described in depth, nothing so much to do with you unless they are together and nothing to do with the rest of the family.
The beginning was enjoyable and it was mysterious and made me want to continue, but then it went downhill for some time where I just scanned through until the trial.
I was surprised with the outcome of Guy and Yvonne staying together, after all it must have been a difficult time for both of them, I think it shows that Guy really loves Yvonne.
The chapters are differently titled, you need to think a little about why they are like that.
It was nicely tied up at the end and then I realized I did enjoy it more than didn´t, although it is not something I will read again. I can see how it is not everybody’s cup of tea just from the writing style, but it is worth a try if you keep your mind open. It is a psychological thriller with some strong moral choices.

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One thought on “Special book review – The Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

  1. Pingback: How To Be A Good Wife by Emma Chapman | A Book Blog from Ecuador

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