The Apple King

Fiction - Cultural
372 Pages
Reviewed on 04/25/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Barbara Anne King is the author of The Apple King, winner of the 2021 Connecticut Indie Author Project Award for adult fiction, Her other novels are The California Immigrant and Where Flowers Grow which are also set in her hometown on Monterey Bay.

Barbara was born and raised in Watsonville, California, a third-generation Croatian-American whose great, great uncles were pioneers in the town’s apple industry which they helped develop into the Apple Capital of the World. After graduating college, she headed east for a job on Capitol Hill. Along the way, she held positions in broadcast news and corporate public affairs. Barbara lives in a small Connecticut town near New York City.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

The Apple King by Barbara Anne King is a historical fiction novel about an immigrant who had to make a tough decision just when things were going well for him. The story begins in 1880 when Nikola Markovich leaves Croatia for a better future in America. Getting to America wasn’t easy, but he finally did and settled in Watsonville, California. There the apple business thrives, and Nikola thought to enter this business. Lucky for him, the apple business proved to be a great choice. He earned good money, he had a good reputation and respect. Falling in love and marrying Jelena was as easy as breathing, and involving his brother Francis in his apple business was even easier. However, things went awry suddenly, and Nikola had no idea what to do. Natural disasters were one thing, but a war in his country was calling him. Nikola wanted to do the right thing, but what if the price for it was his secrets?

The Apple King by Barbara Anne King was intense from the moment the story began, and the author kept the momentum until the end. Nikola’s growth was fantastic. He started as a little nervous and unsure, but as he grew older and gained more confidence, he became a lot more likable too. Nikola was resilient and determined. Once he put his mind to something, he strived hard to get it. His development was done at a pace where he had plenty of opportunities to do whatever he pleased without sounding unrealistic. King has a narrative style that kept me interested in the story without revealing too much all at once. The dialogues were fun, and the descriptions were vivid (two things I immediately look for in any novel). The development arc of the story was great, Nikola’s relationships were believable, and the story was entertaining. What more could a reader want?