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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.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

an odd book to review.....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: 4.11

5 of 5 people found this review 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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful