Oranges are Not the Only Fruit

by Jeanette Winterson | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0099935708 Global Overview for this book
Registered by symphonicca of Ottawa, Ontario Canada on 3/20/2006
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11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by symphonicca from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Monday, March 20, 2006
Got this book from amazon.com, using up a gift certificate given to me by a thoughful friend. It took me a while to use it as I am a little intimidated by that website. So i decided to go with recommendations and/or authors i know and like. I love Jeanette Winterson's writing style, and have never read this book. Hence my purchase... :)

There is no summary on the back that gives much detail on the story itself--- just lots of praise for her originality and writing. Will journal more about the story itself and my impressions once I have read it. Looking forward to it!! :)

Journal Entry 2 by symphonicca from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, April 25, 2006
This was a pretty quick read. I liked this book, especially towards the end when she started weaving other stories in and out of the main narrative. I especially LOVED the relatively short-but-powerful section about the time warping warlock and chalk circles and the ravens and the girl who dares defy her teacher.... it was excellent, and would have been an awesome concept to write a full book on: the overlapping of time, the inevitability of our fate (or fates), the rules that bind us without our knowing, memory--- where it fails us and where it operates subconsciously. I loved it.

As far as the major narrative--- it was painful, poignant and quirky. In many ways it was a typical coming-of-age, rebelling against the norm and those who use their power against the protagonist. Although I have to say the 'norm' in this case is quite out of the realm of my experience--- the extreme religious fanaticism, the devotion and dedication to dogma, the secrets and denial that runs rampant throughout those who claim to be devout but are full of fear and loathing--- it was pretty bleak. (Perhaps one of the reasons I choose not to subscribe to one religion or another?)

Despite the eventual realizations and lifestyles that Jeanette comes to understand and embrace as her own in this story, I would say this story was less about 'coming out' and more about finding one's own voice and life in a cornucopia of information and expectations that are fed to us--- all without our thinking about if we want it, or where it comes from, or whether we trust the people feeding us. (re: larger allegories about pop culture and commercialism)

Frankly, I definately didn't love this book as much as "The Powerbook" or "Sexing the Cherry", which are the only other books of hers that I have read. "Oranges..." was Winterson's first book, i think, and you can see where she is evolving into what I enjoyed so much about "The Powerbook." But for me, while this was a good and interesting read, and i did like it, it didn't have the imagination and boldness and creativity of her later stuff (in my opinion).

Still---- i am very glad to have finally gotten to read it, and again I did enjoy it! I just can't help comparing it to previous experiences with her writing.... perhaps not fair, but life isn't, is it? :) Still a very good book on its own, and i will be recommending it to people.

Not sure if I will be releasing this into the wild, or starting a bookray or passing it on to someone. Will figure it out in due course.

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Have decided to turn this into a bookray. Current participants include:

bestfriends (France)--- Received and sent on!
Bettyboekwurm (Portugal)--- Received and sent on!
katisha50 (Birmingham, UK)--- Received and sent on!
Karenlea (California, USA)--- Received and sent on!
tranq1 (Florida, USA)--- Received and sent on!
mrsordonez (Missouri, USA)--- received and sent on!
affinity4books (US)--- received and sent on!
fushmush (UK)--- received and sent on!
safrolistics (UK)--- received and sent on!
AliceF (UK)--- book is here....

mugwii (Ohio, USA)
.... you?

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Update: sent out to France May 8, 2006

Journal Entry 3 by bestfriends from - Ergens in de provincie, Gelderland Netherlands on Saturday, May 13, 2006
The book arrived in good condition today, so that was pretty quick! Thanks symphonicca for sending and sharing it. I'm half-way in the book I'm reading so this one will be next. Looking forward to it.

Journal Entry 4 by bestfriends from - Ergens in de provincie, Gelderland Netherlands on Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Finished reading yesterday. Although I enjoyed it, there was no "Wow this is great" feeling or "I want to read more by this author". But that's why I like bookrings and -rays (being deprived of a public library to go to): One can nibble and taste a bit from everything that's out there to read that seems interesting, without having to buy them all.

Will be send to BettyBoekwurm soon.

Journal Entry 5 by BettyBoekwurm from Porto - City, Porto Portugal on Friday, June 09, 2006
Just arrived yesterday! Thanks symphonicca and bestfriends!

It's next on my list and I'm really looking forward to it!

Journal Entry 6 by BettyBoekwurm from Porto - City, Porto Portugal on Saturday, June 17, 2006
A very easy read, with a very personal touch to it. I read it very quickly and couldn't seem to put it down. I really liked the way reality and fantasy are interconnected so freely throughout the book.

This was my first contact with Jeanette Winterson's writing, after some curiosity and a few reccommendations, and I really enjoyed it. I had a look at her website where she writes regular columns and really enjoyed the way her writing flows naturally. I'm participating in another two rings of her books (The Powerbook and Sexing the Cherry) and I'm really curious to see what those two are like. After reading symphonicca's comment on prefer The Powerbook to this one, it makes me doubly curious! Thanks again!

Edited - Sent to Katisha50 on the 20th June

Journal Entry 7 by Katisha50 from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Thursday, June 22, 2006
Thanks, BettyBoekwurm, received the book today. Should be able to get to it fairly quickly.

Journal Entry 8 by Katisha50 from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Monday, July 24, 2006
As has been said, this was a quick read. I enjoyed it, but not enough to want to seek out more of her books. Unlike symphonicca, I was less interested in the secondary tales towards the end. Will get Karenlea's address and send it off.

Journal Entry 9 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Caught. I will start this soon. Thank you for sharing!!!

Journal Entry 10 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Friday, September 08, 2006
First, I would like to apologize for keeping the book over a month. I was gone for two weeks in August and I did not read as much as I anticipated on my vacation. I got a little backlogged with my rings/rays.

I loved the style of Winterson's writing. I especially liked the story within the story. The style really captured the oppression and closed mindedness of the characters and I felt like I was in the middle of the story. I can't wait to read some of Winterson's other novels.

I am planning on mailing this book off to the next reader today. Thank you to Symphonnica for sharing!!!

Journal Entry 11 by tranq1 from Tampa, Florida USA on Monday, September 11, 2006
It came in the mail today. I am so glad it got here today, because we are going on vacation tomorrow. I will read it while I am on vacation and mail it as soon as I get back.

Journal Entry 12 by tranq1 at to a bookcrosser in sent by mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, September 30, 2006

Released 14 yrs ago (9/30/2006 UTC) at to a bookcrosser in sent by mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:
DC# 0303 2460 0000 1697 8603


Journal Entry 13 by mrsordonez from Fenton, Missouri USA on Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Arrived safely, will journal more upon finishing.

Journal Entry 14 by mrsordonez from Fenton, Missouri USA on Monday, January 15, 2007
So sorry this took a long time, I had a book in front of this one (just one) that took forever to finish, when it really shouldn't have. I plowed through this one in just one night. Already have affinity4books' address, so it will be mailed on the next post office trip. In the prologue, the narrator talks about her "spiral narrative" which perhaps I didn't really grasp. I understood the main plot, and that there were smaller substories that were inset. Maybe I've been away from serious literature for too long, I missed the significance of several of the shorter stories. I appreciate the comment about memory above, because it makes sense, and ties a few of the loose ends togther for me.

***spoiler alert, to read, highlight text below with mouse***

I wanted to hear more about Jeanette and Melanie, Jeanette and Katy, and Jeanette and Mrs. Jewsbury. I guess the reason I had signed up for the book in the first place was the glbt theme, and I feel that though an undercurrent, it was not as pronounced as I had expected it to be. I didn't understand the end of the book, why did the author return home? Had she renounced homosexuality? Did she ever find a fulfilling relationship like the women in the paper shop? Surprisingly, I don't feel unfulfilled not knowing these things, but I think I've generally resigned myself to believing the book is over my head.

Also, why did her mother allow her to come back home? I don't find much forgiveness among religious fanatacism, more pointing fingers and judging then the actual understanding part.

I had a very hard time placing the time of this book, it seemed almost Victorian in some parts, though with the clues later about the radio, Henry Ford, etc. I recentered my image of the narrative to be in the forties(?) in England, of course. I guess I don't have a good idea of what Europe was like in that time period either, as it was surprising to read about the bathroom, etc.

Overall, I liked the book even though I had a hard time with it, and would recommend it to others, but with the caveat that they be prepared to do a bit more analysis than I was able to. Perhaps this is because the last book read was mental fluff, and I wasn't expecting this one to be so deep.


Will be off to the next reader shortly.

Journal Entry 15 by affinity4books from Bryan, Texas USA on Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Arrived safely in Texas today! I enjoyed Winterson's The Lighthouse and am looking forward to trying some of her earlier work.

Journal Entry 16 by affinity4books from Bryan, Texas USA on Thursday, February 22, 2007
I found Oranges to be an interesting, quick coming-of-age tale. This was not as complicated as some of her later works like Gut Symmetries, and somehow felt more like a novella or short story than a whole novel. I guess that was because I was left wondering what happened afterward, and many of the events at the end were not explained as others have mentioned. Did she ever reconcile the world she grew up in with the real world? Did she forgive her mother? Did she ever have a fulfilling grown-up relationship?

I'm glad I read it, thanks for sharing! I have fushmush's address and will mail within a week.

Released 13 yrs ago (2/23/2007 UTC) at Bookray in By Mail, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

mailed to the UK today by Air Mail, should arrive within a week

Journal Entry 18 by fushmush from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, March 09, 2007
Received, read and ready to send on. An interesting and enjoyable read.

09/03/2007 - PMed next in line. Asked to be skipped. Sent back to AliceF

Journal Entry 19 by AliceF from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Bookring which returned home to me at the weekend, via a circuitous route; thanks again, symphonicca!

Journal Entry 20 by AliceF from Coventry, West Midlands United Kingdom on Friday, February 20, 2009
Reserved for my "1000 books registered RABCK" recipient.

Journal Entry 21 by Jozebedee from Nantwich, Cheshire United Kingdom on Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wow! Thanks AliceF - I forgot all about this! What a great surprise :-)

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