Bitter Orange

Narrated by: Bianca Amato
Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
3.8 out of 5 stars (185 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A most anticipated book at Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Vulture, Elle, Bust, HuffPost, Nylon, Southern Living, Parade, and more.   

From the author of Our Endless Numbered Days and Swimming Lessons, Bitter Orange is a seductive psychological portrait, a keyhole into the dangers of longing and how far a woman might go to escape her past.     

From the attic of Lyntons, a dilapidated English country mansion, Frances Jellico sees them - Cara first - dark and beautiful - then Peter - striking and serious. The couple is spending the summer of 1969 in the rooms below hers while Frances is researching the architecture in the surrounding gardens. But she's distracted. Beneath a floorboard in her bathroom, she finds a peephole that gives her access to her neighbors’ private lives.   

To Frances' surprise, Cara and Peter are keen to get to know her. It is the first occasion she has had anybody to call a friend, and before long, they are spending every day together: eating lavish dinners, drinking bottle after bottle of wine, and smoking cigarettes until the ash piles up on the crumbling furniture. Frances is dazzled.  

But as the hot summer rolls lazily on, it becomes clear not everything is right between Cara and Peter. The stories Cara tells don’t quite add up, and as Frances becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of the glamorous, hedonistic couple, the boundaries between truth and lies, right and wrong, begin to blur. 

Amid the decadence, a small crime brings on a bigger one: a crime so terrible that it will brand their lives forever.

©2018 Claire Fuller (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Bitter Orange

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

4.15 stars..........perfect title

This audiobook is difficult to review because it starts slow, and I almost decided to try something else. But, something kept me listening. Maybe it was the wonderful voice of Bianca Amato, the narrator. The author spends a lot of time developing the characters and the setting, which pays off in the end. There's a lot to like about this book, but many readers will not like the characters. I don't have to like the characters to like a book, though some people do. The protagonist of the story reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant at times, though this book is not humorous or quirky like Eleanor Oliphant. Bitter Orange starts off with the protagonist on her death bed, reflecting on memories that seem innocent enough, but these memories get incrementally darker as the story progresses. Overall rating: 4.15 stars

10 people found this helpful

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Not What I Thought

There were so many positive reviews about this book that I was excited to read this Bitter Oranges. What did I miss? The main character started out interesting for me. She finds herself involved with the other two characters, Peter and Cara. She's caught up in their drama, their history and in a matter of a few weeks she believes herself in love with Peter....and apparently after a few conversations with Victor the Vector, he's fallen in love with her. Peter and Cara have a traumatic past which Cara doles out in bits and pieces to Fran as they lunch on salmon, mayonnaise, bitter oranges and wine. Eating and drinking all day is so out of Fran's routine and she is caught up in it all. Something finally happens in the end and it really didn't matter much to me at that point. The build up fell flat for me. Franny was an odd character and I found that I was interested in her backstory and how her relationship with her mother contributed to her oddness. Franny is a woman of order and routines that developed while caring for her mother (and most likely before that). Her life was in instant turmoil when she met up with Peter and Cara. I wish the other characters held my interest but unfortunately they did not.

2 people found this helpful

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Three damaged people

Well, I have to admit that the interaction between these (3) damaged characters kept my interest, but the ending felt flat. There were things left unexplained about the dynamic between Cara and Peter. As for Frances, well, she was a pitiful character, but not particularly likeable. I really liked the narration, though.

5 people found this helpful

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Good english broken down mansion -

I liked this. It jumps back iand forth between the present with an old woman, and one particular summer in her youth. Great character development. I would have liked to have read this in a book club if I was in one, to discuss many parts and their deeper meanings I may even read it again as there was actually a lot right beneath the surface that I think needed to be pondered more as one read instead of just reading straight through. Any one else read this and feel the same way?

1 person found this helpful

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The cover art is the best part

Skip it. I didn’t find it suspenseful, or even very interesting. I had to work to finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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I loved this book!

Subtle and very well written, with a shocker unveiled in the middle of the book. It is beautifully written with fascinating characters. I loved all of the botanical references, and I had more than one "driveway moment" where I stayed in the car listening until I could tear myself away. Excellent!

1 person found this helpful

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so boring

Struggled throughout. I could not care less about the 7th outfit the narrator wore that used to be her mother's, and fit mother better, or her stupid drunken neighbors that are eccentric. The whole book was painfully slow and the "twist" was lackluster at best. Tried to listen at 1.5 speed, but it the plot was still too slow to get through.

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Boring

I found this book incredibly boring. I hoped it would get better but it never did.

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very entertaining

this book was very entertaining. Bianca amato is my favorite narrator. the story is dark which I like. love getting glimpses in others minds. recommend.

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Bitterly SLOW

The book apparently received rave reviews. I don’t see why. It was slow & boring. Save your credit.