Oranges are Not the Only Fruit
11 journalers for this copy...
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!! :)
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.
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)
Update: sent out to France May 8, 2006
Will be send to BettyBoekwurm soon.
It's next on my list and I'm really looking forward to it!
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
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!!!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
DC# 0303 2460 0000 1697 8603
***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.
I'm glad I read it, thanks for sharing! I have fushmush's address and will mail within a week.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
mailed to the UK today by Air Mail, should arrive within a week
09/03/2007 - PMed next in line. Asked to be skipped. Sent back to AliceF