The Cider House Rules

A Novel

Irving, John, 1942-

Paperback - 2009
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Cider House Rules
Random House, Inc.
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.
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.

Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2009
Edition: Ballantine Books trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780345417947
Branch Call Number: FIC I
Characteristics: 621 p. ; 21 cm.


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Nov 11, 2014
  • Merryfeather rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is a page-turner. I would recommend it to anyone. Irving is an amazing writer.

May 05, 2013
  • Cecilturtle rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Years ago, I discovered <i>A Prayer for Owen Meany</i> and loved it. I've read other books by Irving since, always happily but never with the same degree of passion. This novel carried the same passion. Discussing abortion is not easy, but Irving masters the topic: discrete, passionate, convincing, respectful, he does a tremendous job of bringing his point across without dismissing the seriousness of the decision and its implications.

The storyline itself is delightful, full of ambiguities and deep emotion, tact and subtlety. It carries, of course, Irving's trademark humour and stamp of tall tales. It's compelling and intrinsically <i>novelistic</i>: there's just no putting the book down. A book that will stay with me for a long time.

Apr 05, 2013

I almost always finish reading a book, no matter what make prevent me from doing so. This one, however, was an exception. I just couldn't finish it. Believe me, I'm no stranger to reading all kinds of depressing stories - but this one was BEYOND depressing. It is one of those very rare occasions when I liked the movie better that the book.

Mar 07, 2011
  • dragonsnakes rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Well written book

Sep 14, 2010
  • sharon711 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I love John Irving's novels. This one asks the question: How do we know who's family? It's not always a simple matter of biology. Homer was raised in an orphanage, where he is loved by Dr. Larch as a son and by all the other children as a brother. Homer learns everything he needs to know about the medicine needed to treat women's problems... and about family. But he feels a pull away from his roots. He leaves with a couple who have sought help from Dr. Larch to end a pregnancy and finds himself on an apple farm. Life teaches him lessons there he never learned from Dr. Larch. What path will he choose for the rest of his life? And with whom? The Cider House imparts rules for family relationships of every type. A moving story of love in all its guises.


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Irving, John, 1942-
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