Book: Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Published August 1997 (originally published 1985) by Grove Press|176 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library
Genre: Adult Fiction
Winner of the Whitbread Prize for best first fiction, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-out novel from Winterson, the acclaimed author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. The narrator, Jeanette, cuts her teeth on the knowledge that she is one of God’s elect, but as this budding evangelical comes of age, and comes to terms with her preference for her own sex, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household crumbles.
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is definitely not the book for me. It was a hard book to relate to, and I feel like there’s a lot that went over my head.
I definitely hard a hard time relating to Jeanette, and even though we see her over the span of several years, it was really easy to forget that it takes place over several years. I really struggled with it, and the fairy tales and Bible stories didn’t work for me. Those felt a little bit preachy to me, and some of the more Biblical stuff went over my head. Maybe being more familiar with that would have helped.
Even though the book was short, it was really hard to keep going- it didn’t catch my interest at all, as much as I wanted it to. The writing style was interesting, but not my cup of tea. I did feel like the title went well with what the book is about, though. Just like oranges aren’t the only fruit, there isn’t one way to live.
I can see why people really like it, even though I thought it was okay. Something about Oranges seemed really old to me, but that might be due to the book originally being published in 1985, and it seems so far removed from anything I’ve ever known. I think that might be part of why I had a hard time with it, because, for me, it did not age well, and seemed a little bit dated.
2 stars. I can sort of see why people like it, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.