The Cider House Rules Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Cider House Rules

Homer Wells is an orphan. He has been adopted several times, but he always returns back to the orphanage. He is raised by Dr. Larch, the doctor of the orphanage. When Homer gets older he feels a need to experience the world, he leaves the orphanage and starts a life of his own. The novel follows Homers life as he grows to be a man.
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The review of this Book prepared by karen ahlnas

'The Cider House Rules' explores (in depth) the lives of two people. The first being Dr. Wilbur Larch, and the second being Homer Wells. The former is the head of an orphanage/abortion center and the latter is one of the orphans born there. In this time period, abortions are illegal so Dr. Larch must work outside the law. The descriptions of these characters, along with many others, are so detailed that the reader isn't left with any questions. The opposing views of Homer and Dr. Larch on abortion create a general conflict lasting throughout the book.

The timeline of ‘The Cider House Rules' spans over several lifetimes, so the plot flows accordingly. Homer begins his life at an orphanage, growing and maturing until he is ready for the something more. He finds himself working on an apple farm, picking apples and making cider. Now befriended by the other workers, the romantic aspect of the book begins to truly show. A woman named Candy had already promised her heart to someone by the name of Wally. When Wally goes off to war, Candy finds love with Homer.

In keeping track of a half a dozen main characters, unplanned pregnancies gone awry, and a tremendous assortment of side stories, ‘The Cider House Rules' seems endless at times. If a reader can manage the entire book, they will be left with an incredible viewpoint on abortion and may never look at an apple the same way again.
The review of this Book prepared by Jack the Rock

The story of 'The Cider House Rules' centers around a crusty old abortionist and obstetrician, Wilbur Larch, and the orphan boy Homer Wells. In the process of growing up, Homer Wells must deal with his own views regarding abortion, and their consequences. A thoughtful, engaging read, but tends to meander and fails to carry a sense of unity all the way through to the end. Also, while the protagonists are finely drawn, the other characters are one-dimensional and simplistic.
The review of this Book prepared by Ilana Teitelbaum

Chapter Analysis of The Cider House Rules

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   abortion Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   orphan story

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   impregnation/reproduction

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