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Author Jeanette Winterson

Title Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Reviewer Nora Charles

Genre Humor, faux autobiography, romance (as in episodic tale, hero on a quest)

Kink F/F

Grade ****-  Very good

Explicitness Not sexy. No graphic details.

Summary Jeanette is a precocious, deeply religious girl, who also happens to be a lesbian, on a quest to find balance in her life. She is witty and smart, and has a refreshingly different and charming way of looking at life.

Jeanette is the narrator of her own life-story, and also many little stories and vignettes, that serve to contrast and illuminate the main story line.
The novel is set in a small North England town in the 1950's.
We are introduced to the evangelical society Jeanette's family belong to, and experience the joy they have in their faith, the good-natured rivalry they have with the Salvation Army, but also the darker side of religious intolerance for "Unnatural Passions".
We meet the townspeople (regrettably Heathens most of them) and experience the baffling (and touching and funny) culture clash between them and the Faithful.

Quality Oranges is extremely well-written, in a deceptively simple style, which is nonetheless rich with feeling and meaning. Though sad and wrong things happen to our dear heroine, it never becomes "heavy", always keeping a light heroic-comedic tone, which is a joy to read.
This novel, like a great poem, will make you feel the truth, without having to analyze, though it will also make you think.
I'm far from sure I understand all the little side stories and fairy-tales and anecdotes Jeanette tells the reader, but they are all entertaining, and all contribute to the total story, like pieces in a mosaic.
I cannot recommend this Whitbread Book Award winning novel highly enough.

Gay Sci-Fi:
    Gay Fantasy:
    Gay Mystery:
    Gay Humor:
    Gay Thriller:

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