Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-of-age story that follows a young Northern girl named Jeanette. Adopted and raised in a religious family, Jeanette believes she is destined to become a missionary. As Jeanette reaches her teenage years, she finds herself falling in love with another girl, and her strict Pentecostal church responds with vehemence.
I had some trepidation about this novel, having read Winterson’s Written on the Body and really not enjoyed it. However, everyone I knew swore that Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit was a must-read, and I must say that I liked it a lot more than my first experience of Winterson’s writing. Jeanette was sweet and witty, and the beginning of the book is written with a childlike innocence that really attaches you to her. I especially enjoyed the fairy tale vignettes that are dotted throughout the narrative. Though I enjoyed it a lot more than Written on the Body, I still found there was something missing for me, and I didn’t feel myself fully invested in the story or the characters.
Rating: 3 / 5 stars