Grinza’s Orchard is the tale of an eccentric Gypsy young lady with unfathomable quality of character growing up in the mid-1900’s Romania. Written by Leonard I. Eckhaus, the book recently received both a Mom’s Choice Award and a Reader’s Favorite Five-Star Review.

Being the founder of AFCOM (1980), the leading association in the world for Data Center Managers; and later, The Data Center Institute, a think tank of leading computer industry corporate and data center visionaries, the author of this remarkable book aimed at the YA (Young Adult) audience is a data center innovator by profession. Yet, with the zeal to write, Eckhaus pens the Grinza’s tale in alluring tone.

Grinza’s Orchard is a youthful novel that is, to a greater degree, a fable following the life and experiences of a Romani young lady, also alluded to in the book as a Gypsy. The book is a story about growing up; however, it is additionally filled to the brim with lessons she learns en route. “I wanted to create a story for people of all ages, depicting life in all its ups and downs and what it takes to prevail,” expresses Leonard Eckhaus.

The book combines humor such as the time Grinza is willing to try anything to get rid of her freckles, which will have you laughing, and sorrow such as when Grinza gives up her greatest possession in order to save her parents from a serious illness during the coldest winter their village has ever experienced.  “These obstacles that we all face in life, and how we handle them, determines our success and ultimately, our happiness.” says Leonard I. Eckhaus.

The importance of family is a theme demonstrated many times in this novel, such as when  Grinza’s parents support her in quest of her life and do not force the customary arranged marriage on her. “I wanted to portray the lesson that family, supporting each other through love, sacrifice and joy, builds character in each other that can overcome anything they face – as long as they face it together,” commented Leonard.

Eckhaus describes a major event in the story that takes place when five year old Grinza is gifted her own cherry tree and begins to dream of one day having her own full-blown cherry orchard. He adds, “As Grinza nurtures the cherry tree and watches it grow and begin to bear fruit, she learns many lessons about life, love and responsibility – lessons that will serve her well all the years of her life.”

The story follows Grinza as she grows into womanhood, gets married and has children of her own, facing the successes and failures that stimulate and challenge her.

To help deal with some of the issues she faces, including an undesirable boy who is attracted to her, the awfully hard choice she needs to make to spare her folks from an illness during the coldest winter on record in their village, accomplishing her life’s dream about having her own cherry orchard and afterward out of nowhere losing it, she looks for help with visits to the witch Auntie Angelina and the Guru Sylvanus, who lives in a cavern on a close-by mountain. This particular section of the novel reflects that uncertainties are part of life and left to their own can keep you from reaching your goals. In fact, there is no certainty that even if you achieve your dreams, it will last forever. “Everything in this world is temporary, and we must accept this truth as Grinza did. However, it is never a bad idea to reach out to people who can help you overcome these obstacles, even if they live in a cave, far away from your reach,” says Eckhaus.

The story follows Grinza, her better half Clopin, and their children’s lives in the little gypsy village of Cojasca. With a touch of romanticism in it, the book has so many great lessons for those who seek it. According to Eckhaus, “The story is about discovering peace within yourself by establishing a bond with your family. With this book, I intended to portray that family is all that makes life worth living. Grinza, being an incredible woman who cared for her parents and later her husband and children, is the epitome of human empathy that the world needs.” 

The majority of the characters in Grinza’s Orchard are good, persevering individuals. Grinza and her better half are both ready to forfeit any of their assets for their loved ones. “On the off chance that more individuals resembled them, our world probably wouldn’t be such a wreck at this moment,” says Leonard I. Eckhaus.

Grinza’s Orchard is a story of dreams, love, life, and death, with a hint of enchantment. It’s just 112 pages in length; however, it’s a sweet story for people of all ages, with incredible life lessons for those who dare to explore their dreams.