- Amis, Martin — London Fields (471 pages)
- Morpurgo, Michael — War Horse (182 pages)
- Winterson, Jeanette — Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (177 pages)
- Page count
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit has been on my radar for a few years, but I'm not sure what about it first caught my attention. In this her first book, Jeanette Winterson tells the semi-biographical story of growing up in a Pentecostal Christian community and discovering that her reciprocated feelings for other young ladies are aggressively not tolerated.
The account of her childhood and adolescence, charting her transformation from favoured child and future minister to demon-possessed sinner and pariah, framed in the context of relationships with her mother, the community, and God, feels painfully honest, but somehow Winterson manages to tell it with humour and charm and, despite the anger and confusion, seemingly without losing faith.
The day I finished reading Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, I found out that Jeanette Winterson runs a food shop which I walked past at least twice on work days. I decided to pay a visit, out of curiosity, after work that day, but I got there after closing time. (And I didn't feel the need to stop by when I wasn't carrying the book with me. Silly, yes, I know.) Of course, this has absolutely no relevance to the book, but I thought it was cool that this hugely successful writer chooses to be a grocer.
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit was adapted into a popular and well-regarded miniseries. I have yet to watch it but am downloading it. I'm hoping that, since Winterson wrote the screenplay, it will be a faithful adaptation. In the meantime, I look forward to reading other books of hers.