The Cider House Rules (1985) is a novel by American writer John Irving, a Bildungsroman that was later adapted into a 1999 film and a stage play by Peter Parnell. The story, set in the pre– and post–World War II era, tells of a young man, Homer Wells, growing up under the guidance of Dr. Wilbur Larch, an obstetrician and abortion provider. The story relates his early life at Larch's orphanage in Maine and follows Homer as he eventually leaves the nest and comes of age.
Homer Wells is shown growing up in an orphanage where he spends his childhood trying to be "of use" as a medical assistant to director Dr. Wilbur Larch, whose history is told in flashbacks: After a traumatic misadventure with a prostitute as a young man, Wilbur turns his back on sex and love, choosing instead to help women with unwanted pregnancies give birth and then keeping the babies in an orphanage.
He makes a point of maintaining an emotional distance from the orphans, so that they can more easily