First published in 1985, The Cider House Rules is John Irving's sixth novel. Set in rural Maine in the first half of this century, it 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. It is also the story of Dr. Larch's favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted.
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How can anyone not love a book that simultaneously tells a deeply moving and compelling story AND explore the abortion debate with humor and evenhandedness? John Irving is my favorite author and while A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY is my favorite Irving title, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES is right up there. I love how deeply Irving knows these characters and how gradually he reveals their quirks and idiosyncracies. He knows and loves them so much, the reader can't help but love the ether-imbibing Dr. Larch and his surrogate son, the orphan Homer Wells. Irving is a consummate storyteller.
"Superb in scope and originality, a novel as good as one could hope to find from any author, anywhere, anytime. Engrossing, moving, thoroughly satisfying."
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