books, Reviews

The Reviewing Reel: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

This book was actually a compulsory read for my English course next year, I read it at the end of June, and enjoyed it a lot more than I did the other compulsory texts I was set to read.

Oranges is the story of a girl, adopted by a pair of devoutly religious parents, raised to grow up to be a missionary and join their church. Except for the fact that when she grows up, she starts to rebel, and she realises that she is in love with a girl from her church.

The girl is named Jeanette, after the author (the book is semi-autobiographical), and it’s basically just a coming of age story wrapped inside a teenage romance, wrapped inside a story of family, wrapped inside a story that questions everything, from religion to motherhood.

I loved how the dynamic between Jeanette and her mother changed as the story progressed – it seems to ‘officially’ change when Jeanette is forced to go to school, and she realises that not everyone else is like her, and she can’t change their views. I think this is kind of the turning point of the story, as it’s evident that her mother didn’t want Jeanette to go, and from that moment forward Jeanette starts to be a lot more open towards other views.

I also really loved how many books Jeanette reads as she rebels against her mother’s evangelistic Christian views, it’s just a really fun thing to read about.

This book was amazing on its own  – but before I round this off, I wanted to mention Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, the ‘silent twin’ to Oranges. This is the autobiography of Winterson, in a way, and it shows you just how similar, and just how different, the two stories are to one another.

I won’t go into spoilers here (have I given out spoilers already? I’m not sure, I don’t really know what counts as a spoiler), but I would really recommend it if you read Why Be Happy right after Oranges, as the two are basically the same story, just told in different ways, one fictional, one real life.

I might do a separate review of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? depending on whether I can be bothered or not.

I gave Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit a 5 star review, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, as a brilliant example of LGBT+ literature.

Ellie x

P.S. I GOT MY FIRST BOOK REVIEW REQUEST FROM A PUBLISHER! I’m honestly so happy about it, I feel like I’m actually getting somewhere with this blog; like you’re all enjoying my content and writing enough for me to be getting more attention from the blogosphere. Thank you for supporting me for the past year or so, and I hope you’ll continue to do so in the future!

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