Thursday, January 9, 2014

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette, orphaned sensitive, intelligent and rebellious, is adopted by a family of evangelists and gloomy industrialized north of Great Britain. Her childhood becomes a surreal blend of sermons, catechism, rattle of tambourine in church orchestra and late adaptation to the rigors of the educational system. However, as Jeanette approaching adolescence, a career missionary to start preparing parents to lose their aura, the young discover their sexuality at all orthodox and family silence falls apart. Jeanette will have to choose between the truth and the truth of her soul Bible and courageous decision that will be the beginning of a path winding between original and unusual landmarks of destiny. -Goodreads

This book is different than anything I have ever read, both in the subject matter and the way that it is written. I found this book by chance in a bag of books that a lady was giving away after a yard sale. 

This books starts when Jeanette is young and naive, believing everything that her mother tells her as gospel. At first I found the story to be slow and a little boring, but it quickly picked up pace. Jeanette is very religious and has this "demon" inside of her and  it's only as she ages and comes into herself that she must process "her sin" of loving women and the ramifications that "her sin" has on the people around her. All of the chapters are named after books in the bible, Genesis, Exodus, etc. and I found that to be nice, since religion is the main underlying theme of the book. 

In the later part of the book there is some fairy-tale type storytelling in the chapters, and at first I was very confused by this, but I ended up really enjoying it and how the author weaved it into the main story.

I found this book to be a very good coming of age story, especially for someone facing adversary, whether it be from their religious beliefs or their sexuality (or a clashing of the two). I really feel like this would make a good book choice for a book club, cause there are so many different issues that can be talked over from this. My only problem with it is the ending, I found it to be very anti-climatic and I really wanted to know more about what happens to Jeanette. 

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