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Bitter Orange

Narrated by: Bianca Amato
Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (111 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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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 members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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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

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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

6 of 7 people found this review 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.

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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.

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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!

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    4 out of 5 stars

bit of a bore.

loved the author's ability to conjure images, scenery, and characters, but the overall story came across a bit boring- like the main character herself. might have been better as a slow read vs listen?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful