Vasha7's Reviews > Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
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May 28, 2011

really liked it
Read in September, 2009

A growing-up story told with a lot of comic verve. I can't figure out quite how autobiographical it is -- sometimes I think, if this was literally true would you dare to write it? But the narrator is named "Jeanette". She obviously loves her mother but her mother would not be ''at all'' pleased by this book. A bit unusual -- like most growing up stories it inevitably involves leaving home, yet in the last pages she comes back to visit her mother again. Her mother is more vivid than just about anything else in the book, central to the community that is also very well depicted. Home (the church community and to a lesser extent the town) will very obviously shape the rest of her days, no matter what use she makes of that basis. Jeanette was from the start a child with little use for the mundane; when asked to say "what she did last summer" she gives a recital of all the most exciting moments, not tying them together with anything in between, which makes for a rather disorderly narrative. Disorderly, in several senses, she'll remain -- life will seem speedy and uncertain to her, and also she'll be disruptive to all around her.
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