Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson


I first became aware of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson back in the mid-1990s while I worked in the textbook department at a university bookstore when I was an undergraduate student. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson and also her book, Sexing The Cherry, were popular books assigned for English courses on campus. Although I didn't know what each book was about at the time, I found their titles interesting. I'd actually meant to read both Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and Sexing The Cherry back in the 1990s, but I had forgotten about both books after graduating from college.

Then I came across Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson as an ebook deal on Amazon. I decided why not read it now? I began reading this short novel (it's less than 200 pages in length.) without reading the book blurb as to what it was about. I wanted to keep the element of surprise regarding the plot/storyline.

Let's just say that Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is not what I expected it to be!! This book is a coming of age book that falls into the LGBTQ+ spectrum. I've also read that Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is semi-autobiographical as well, which makes for interesting reading. There are also strong religious themes/elements throughout the novel. Literary fiction plays heavily in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit as well. It should also be noted that Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson is the winner of the Whitbread Prize for best first fiction.

So, what did I think of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit? I definitely think it is uniquely written. The author has found a rich and nuanced way of communicating various topics in an untraditional way. I found this refreshing. I think the topics and themes explored were good. BUT overall, I didn't like this book very much. Parts of the book were really good and other parts were definitely a miss for me. I'm not sure I will go on to read anything else written by Jeanette Winterson in the future, since Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit wasn't appealing to me.

Below is the summary for Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit from Amazon's website:

When it first appeared, Jeanette Winterson’s extraordinary debut novel received unanimous international praise, including the prestigious Whitbread Prize for best first fiction. Winterson went on to fulfill that promise, producing some of the most dazzling fiction and nonfiction of the past decade, including her celebrated memoir Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?

Now required reading in contemporary literature, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a funny, poignant exploration of a young girl’s adolescence.

Jeanette is a bright and rebellious orphan who is adopted into an evangelical household in the dour, industrial North of England and finds herself embroidering grim religious mottoes and shaking her little tambourine for Jesus. But as this budding missionary comes of age, and comes to terms with her unorthodox sexuality, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household dissolves. Jeanette’s insistence on listening to truths of her own heart and mind - and on reporting them with wit and passion - makes for an unforgettable chronicle of an eccentric, moving passage into adulthood.

I am giving Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!


  1. I've only read one book by Winterson - "The Gap of Time," her reimagining of Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale." I enjoyed that one well enough but I don't think I'll be picking this one up.

    1. I hadn't heard of "The Gap of Time" before. It sounds interesting, but will take a pass on it since I didn't find this book by Winterson all that good.

  2. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I have to admit, it's not one that I've ever heard of...or one that I'm too interested in reading.

    1. Unless this is the sort of book you're into, I'd take a hard pass.