Lari Don's Reviews > Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
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Jun 12, 12

bookshelves: adult-fiction

Beautifully written, deeply disturbing book, about a girl growing up in a very religious household, with a very dominating mother, and how her family and church react to her growing attraction to girls. It’s semi-autobiographical novel (how accurately so, I’m about to find out, as the next book I’m reading is the same author’s Why be Happy When You Could Be Normal – a memoir of the same time.) But however much truth there is in here, it’s leavened by a lot of fantasy. Fairytale forests, orange devils, and quests for the holy grail – none of which are quite as outlandish as locking a teenager in an unlit room without food in for two days to exorcise her lesbian demons. I had known a little about the content of this book, but even so, I found it both gorgeous and distressing. Though not always the way I expected: the reaction of Jeanette's teachers and classmates to her religious fervour was in many ways just as intolerant as the reaction of her church to her sexuality. The other surprise was how funny this book is – the dialogue is wonderful, filled with dry wit, irony and fabulous one-liners. I can see me reading this wonderful book again very soon, once I’ve finished Why Be Happy…

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message 1: by Alex (new)

Alex Nye I love Jeanette Winterson, and can recommend Lighthousekeeping as well. You'd like it because it's written very much from a child's perspective. Haven't read Oranges, and might give it a whirl.


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