Have you ever read a book and were looking for how the title relates to the story? then when you found the connection you thought it was pointless and then wondered why you’re still reading the book? That’s pretty much my experience with The Cider House Rules.
There’s an interesting story at the heart of this book but it gets lost in the mire of random character musings and odd plot spin-offs. We start with Homer Wells and how he can’t find a permanent adopted home away from St. Cloud’s Orphanage. Then suddenly we’re given a complete background on the man who runs the orphanage, Dr. Wilbur Larch. Who finds himself both delivering babies and giving abortions. Then we go back to Homer Wells who clearly becomes the main focus of the book. Homer’s story focuses on him finding a home and making a family and struggling with the idea that he belongs at St. Cloud’s; as if he owes them something.
I liked Homer but I don’t think the author knew what to do with him sometimes. As a reader, I sympathized with him, was weirded out by him, admired him, and cheered for him. Maybe that’s what we’re supposed to do? Several of the other characters were
entertaining if not obnoxious at some points. There were also a lot very odd sexual things happening in the book. More time was spent talking about, and saving, pubic hair than I cared for. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Several good ethical points were brought up in this book regarding birth control, abortion, the medical field, race relations in the North pre-, during, and post-WWII, but again, they all mire together and by the end you just want the book to stop.