Review: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson

2017 - oranges are not the only fruit

059 - oranges

Rating – 3*

I have been looking forward to reading Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit for a very, very long time. It’s a cornerstone of LGBTQ+ fiction, and it is a book that I’ve had on my shelf for a good 3 or 4 years and just never been in the mood to pick up. I have held it on such a pedestal that on reading it, I’ve been a little let down.

As always with Winterson’s prose, it’s beautiful. But I’m glad this wasn’t my first foray in to her writing. While I found the semi-autobiographical nature of it interesting, and I enjoyed the main crux of the plot surrounding the coming-of-age of Jeanette, I did find it disjointing on the whole. There are several side stories within the book, which while beautifully written, distracted me from the main plot. They probably had purpose, in literary circles they’re probably genius 5 page long metaphors but to the average reader (me, hi) they were a bit off putting.

One thing I will say is I listened to this as an audiobook which Jeanette Winterson read – and it was glorious. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, authors reading their own works is a pleasure and something that should be done more often. I attribute a lot of my enjoyment of this book to the audiobook as I think were I reading a physical copy alone I may have actually put the book down.

On the whole, this was okay. I will definitely continue to read Winterson’s work, but so far this has been a low point for me. I’m glad I read it, of course I am, and I can understand on reading it how it has impacted so heavily on society. It just didn’t meet the expectations I had for it unfortunately.


3 thoughts on “Review: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson

  1. RamblingsOfAnElfpire says:

    This was one of the first books I read when I got back into reading in a big way around 5 years ago, and I have to say I barely remember it but I can’t remember enjoying it too much. Jeanette Winterson is an author I’ve never revisited but your recent reviews have inspired me to try again!

  2. lydiaemily says:

    This was my first foray into Jeanette Winterson’s work and I had the exact same thoughts as you! I just didn’t get the little metaphorical side stories. I’m not intellectual enough for that stuff haha. I’m so glad that it wasn’t your first experience of her work!! I still can’t figure out if I love Winterson’s writing or if I hate it (i guess i have a complicated relationship with her writing) but you always make me want to read more of her!

    • ashleighmuses says:

      I love her writing, I just think occasionally she goes off on a tangent which I’m not intelligent enough to get the meaning of. It sounds great, but I don’t understand the point of it! I’m just glad this wasn’t my first of her books, not sure I’d have gone on to pick up The Stone Gods (which I loved) or The Passion, I think it may have put me off for a very long time!

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