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The Orphan From Shepherds Keep Three Men, Three Intertwined Lives, One Rightful Place In Each Other's Heart A Gay Novel

THE ORPHAN
FROM
SHEPHERDS KEEP

Three Men, Three Intertwined Lives,
One Rightful Place In Each Other's Heart
A Gay Novel

Why Read The #1 Bestseller

The Orphan From Shepherds Keep is populated with real, imperfect, and utterly unforgettable characters. Their stories are defined by love, sacrifice, and devotion. They exhibit the wonderful warmth and complexity of male friendships while also embracing the earthy sensuality that defines many of their lives.

THE ORPHAN FROM SHEPHERDS KEEP

The townsfolk describe him as “prettier than a boy should be.”  ELI APPLE is embarrassed by such remarks but soon learns to celebrate all the pleasures his beauty invites. He possesses the voice of an angel, and the sound of his tender falsetto echoes throughout the green forests that surround his New England home. A rough, older boy, FERRIS COOPER, dazzled by the youngster’s loveliness and captivated by the hymns he sings, secretly follows him on his daily walks. And into both their lives arrives BENJAMIN BERGER, savior to one and beloved by the other.  The adventures of these three men become entwined in a surprising tapestry of love and betrayal over the course of thirty years.

 

Straddling the worlds of music, religion, and art, and set in an era that begins with Ronald Reagan describing America as a “shining city on a hill” and ends with Donald Trump’s legacy of “American carnage,” these characters come of age while America is coming apart. They celebrate as gay marriage is legalized and suffer as gun violence explodes across the country. And when a deadly virus threatens and nations close their borders, they must struggle to survive in an America they no longer recognize.

 

Emulating the warmth and complexity of male friendships as portrayed in Hannah Yanagihara’s A LITTLE LIFE while also embracing the earthy sensuality of the same-sex couples in Garth Greenwell’s CLEANNESS, the characters in THE ORPHAN FROM SHEPHERDS KEEP are real and imperfect and utterly unforgettable.

The Orphan From Shepherds Keep Three Men, Three Intertwined Lives, One Rightful Place In Each Other's Heart A Gay Novel

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PRAISE FOR THE ORPHAN FROM SHEPHERDS KEEP

If you enjoyed reading THE ORPHAN FROM SHEPHERDS KEEP and the time you spent with these characters, help spread the word online, at your local bookshop, and directly with your friends. Lindsay would enjoy hearing about your experience while reading the book and invites you to ask any questions you may have about this story and his story.

ENDORSEMENTS

"Lindsay Law's gorgeous debut novel, The Orphan From Shepherds Keep, is truly a wonder. Genuinely funny, moving, and very sexy, it has characters and a story I climbed in with right from the beginning. In New England in 1984, a goodhearted Ben Berger saves a baby's life, leaving him in the care of the Brothers of the monastery at Shepherds Keep. That boy will grow up to be Eli Apple, an orphan with an almost unnatural beauty who possesses a voice from heaven. Over the course of almost four decades, Eli, Ben, and a third boy, Ferris Cooper, who meets them both under very different circumstances, find themselves falling in and out of love and trying, failing, and ultimately succeeding at becoming their best selves. Fathers—and family—come in many different forms in the book, and characters in search of both find them in the most unexpected places. The story moves beautifully and is perfectly controlled, even as its characters travel through time and around the globe. I stayed completely immersed throughout. Law's voice is compassionate, tender, and wise. His book stole my heart."

—P. PARNELL, Playwright

 

"In one astonishing leap, author Lindsay Law vaults into near classic status with this remarkable debut novel, which advertises itself as gay fiction, but with the degree of articulate detail, layered expertise, thrilling characterization, and a plot that extends from New England halfway around the world, defies mere categorization, while taking the reader on a journey of romance, spiritual adventure, and sensual awakening. Law uncorks a riveting narrative impossible to put down. The Orphan From Shepherds Keep delivers the goods on every level, staying wonderfully ahead of the reader to the very last page."

—J. O'BRIEN, Tony-winning stage director

 

"The Orphan From Shepherds Keep is a terrific book. I didn't want to put it down. It is going to be appreciated and loved. The story traverses a period of dramatic social change that affects the lives of the characters. Woven throughout is the author's love of the land, gardens, and cooking...all beautifully described. The scene-setting as well…great detail of place, from the largest elements to the smallest. I love the quotes from books and songs; they resonate with the reader, and their placement is perfect. The richness of those allusions enhances the themes and sets this apart from the typical coming-of-age story."

—P. GELLER, Emmy-winning documentary producer

 

"The Orphan From Shepherds Keep is a cinematic gay coming-of-age page-turner that takes you across the globe in a search for love, self-discovery, and a place in the world."  

—P. GOLDMAN, Real-Estate advisor

“The prose is wonderful, sure and totally engaging, likewise the structure. It's a complicated, layered story, it rises and gains momentum like a tide coming in, but it's the characters that really do it. Eli is an extraordinary, daring invention! I had a really vivid idea of what he looked like and what his presence felt like, and the idea of his voice was brilliant. Exceptional coming of age, and well done. And the dialogue! So effortless and integrated, clever and right. And the divine Ben and the rogue. Eli's astonishment at coming back to America and wanting to go 'home.' Don't we all, as we stand on the verge of sinking back into the abyss? Aleski is my favorite character. I could go on. Bravo! The Orphan From Shepherds Keep is a really gripping book.”

—K.WALKER, Artist, Photographer, Novelist

 

“The Orphan From Shepard’s Keep is a lyrically written story of finding yourself and finding your sense of family. It traces the lives of three very different, very real people who take different paths in their search for that elusive goal of ‘belonging’—while at the same time discovering who each of them really is. This is a story of friendship, loyalty, and courage. A story of finding your tribe and never letting go. It was a joyful experience to accompany each of them on their journey.”

—D. SHAYON, Corporate Advisor

 

“Though set firmly in the present day, Law’s novel, The Orphan From Shepard’s Keep, displays strong literary roots in the past with the picaresque and far-flung adventures—spiritual and sexual—of its hero Eli, an orphan blessed with the beauty of Tadzio but the behavior of a horny Huck Finn (and the voice of an angel). Crammed full of incidents and characters who elicit empathy even in what might be considered bad behavior,  the novel is unashamedly romantic in its desire for the resolution of the protagonist’s needs. Spanning time and continents, the rural and the urban, the spiritual and the sensual, it never forgets that all these roads can lead to love. And pulls off the trick of making the reader want to stick with every one of the characters every step of the way.”

—S. MEEK, Film & Television Producer

“The Orphan From Shepard’s Keep is such a beautiful book that spoke to me on so many levels about friendship, being different, what home means, and how complicated that notion can become. It was like reading slices of my life at times. From the moment I started reading it, I was totally pulled into all three of the stories we would follow, and I was always fascinated and surprised to see how they would develop and pull together.

 

Every time I tried to second guess the ending, I was wrong—just when I thought I had worked it all out and was thinking, “Well, this is a rather clever Covid variation on the age-old quest to return home,” the book floored me because as many of us have found—home can never be what it was. The book has turned even that idea on its head, the sense of no longer belonging in your own country. I love the idea of identity because I think that conflict among gay men of a certain age is really complicated. 

 

The Orphan From Shepard’s Keep is unbelievably moving, and when Eli realizes his country is no longer home—It’s something a lot of us are wrestling with but don’t like to speak out loud because…well, what do you do with that idea if you truly believe it? The book has such a huge, huge heart and such love within it…those seemingly odd moments that can happen in childhood that might only be ripples can turn out to be hugely consequential for a child caught in the crossfire of bad adult behavior."

—M. LOWE, Composer, Conductor, Arranger

"In The Orphan From Shepard’s Keep, so many elements of the characters speak directly to me, from the religious and spiritual aspects to the art and pop culture worlds that I adore. I was transported to so many new and exciting places. I felt a deep connection to the elements of sexual attraction, birth families and the families we choose, and the ever and ongoing search for belongingness. I am compelled to visit so many places in Europe now…Helsinki sounds magical…and OH, have I fantasized so many times in my life about a road trip with a sexy truck driver? 

 

I particularly loved this passage in the book - “God is everywhere. God is like the internet, but instead of providing the information we seek, he is the information. He knows all, sees all, is all. He is the outcome of all input. He is the lover we track down; he is the fire we carelessly start with a flick of our cigarette. He is substance, he is truth, he is love, he is calamity. He is not some corporeal creature who drops in occasionally to fix something or to heal some wounded being. No, he is always here, and despite our ridiculousness, he loves us. He can’t save us, but he provides all the tools we need to save ourselves if we would only pay attention, live more thoughtfully, and maybe watch less TV.”

 

It was a true gift to experience Lindsay’s storytelling and the beautiful world within our own world that you have created for us to enjoy."

—J. MAESTAS, Arts Educator, Performer

“Lindsay Law has delivered an intelligent, richly detailed novel, The Orphan From Shepherd’s Keep, which is about three young gay men who hold a secret they take with them from a cloistered, remote town in Northern Vermont into the changing adult world where their paths fatefully cross again. As each character grapples with identity, sex, violence, and love, their secret is finally revealed to satisfying effect.”

—BRIAN RISLEY, Los Angeles, CA

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