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Publisher's Summary

When Carly Rosen is jilted on the eve of her wedding, she embarks on a startling journey of self-discovery. This gender-bending, risque retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in sizzling West Hollywood, echoes the ancient story of the lovers in the Underworld.

What do you do when the love of your life has eloped with another woman on the eve of your wedding? The other woman is a famous beauty named Anna Garibaldi, and their love story is splashed all over the tabloids, making you die inside. To add insult to injury, the one who has abandoned you dies unexpectedly, having left you a cryptic text message suggesting that you were always the one and only. Where do you go from here for solace, for justice?

If you are Carly Rosen, a portrait artist with huge imagination, you use your art to charm your way into the life and inner circle of the alluring Anna Garibaldi, whose seductive and secretive underworld is nothing you could have expected. You say goodbye to life as you know it and take a breathless ride down to the depths of the Land of the Dead, to where passions and dangers await you and nothing is as it seems. Don't forget a coin for the ferryman. Bon Voyage!

©2014 Victoria Pniel (P)2016 Victoria Pniel, Shaggy Dog Stories

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 02-17-17

A Fantastic Experience!

What did you love best about The Art of Peeling an Orange?

I loved everything about this book! I know I will listen to it time and time again.

What other book might you compare The Art of Peeling an Orange to and why?

I'd compare this story to The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters in terms of the feel and atmosphere as well as the twists and turns of the plot.

Any additional comments?

I just finished listening to The Art of Peeling an Orange last night--and started it again this morning--and WOW! What a great book. It was exquisitely written, superbly paced, and the characters so well drawn, I feel like they are people in my life.. It truly is one of the best books I've read in a VERY long time. I do have to say, for my sentimental heart, I appreciated the alternate ending, but having said that, I also feel it simply made it a different book, not a better one. The original ending, whereas it was unexpected and left some grieving to be done, was powerful and gave the story the element of a reminder that not all stories in life end happily by conventional standards.

Victoria Avilan is a fantastic writer. She conveys the characters and details of the plot in such beautiful writing and depth that I couldn’t stop once I started. There are so many different experiences that she portrays in ways that make the reader feel the experience rather than simply read about it—art, from the artist’s perspective; the torment of perceived betrayal; heartbreak; the all-consumption of love; the destructive nature of secrets; to name just a few. There is one element in particular that I found so vividly accurate from my own experience, but if I mention it directly, a significant plot point would be revealed. So I won’t. Suffice it to say, Avilan definitely has a gift.

I highly recommend this book to readers who love the rich texture of a deep, well told story. Now, back to my second time through The Art of Peeling an Orange.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelli M
  • Columbus, Ohio United States
  • 02-10-17

Unique

This is very well written...what an amazing mind to come up with such words. This is a very different type of love story...I was both entranced and baffled at times listening to it...I have to admit I stopped at Chapter 80 because I could not handle the emotions I was feeling...but if I'm feeling as I'm listening that says something about the book. I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea but I enjoyed it...mostly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

I wish I could rate the parts

This book starts slow and i sort of wanted to give up, and then it locked up, and took a couple of interesting twists. The author's technical ability to write is in my opinion very good. She concours up scenes and emotions really well.

I just couldn't like anyone in this one - maybe the sister, she seemed pretty real until she gets tangled up with someone she doesn't seem she would ever really tolerate. So then I began to dislike her too.

There were times I didn't like the book because it was so dark, people filled with self loathing and narcissism. Then it would catch my interest, and then that would wane.

It was too long, too drawn out for me. I rated it a three because sometimes it was a solid 4 and then a 1, and then and then....

But I will finish with this, there movies and books that I walk away from, and think wow I didn't really like that too much, but then months and even years later I'm still talking about the book

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent dramatization!

The Art of Peeling an orange is a beautifully written literary fiction novel. Having Chris Williams narrate it simply brought the characters to life. I have been a fan of her narration since I heard Chris narrate Jericho. Highly recommended audiobook and novel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not your usual Lesbian Romance novel.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Art of Peeling an Orange to be better than the print version?

The audio version was well done. I usually prefer the written word, but this story made me buy the print version. I like to go back and reread certain phrases or parts of a book when it is as well written as this.

What did you like best about this story?

Mysterious, unpredictable, intriguing and tragic, echoes of Orpheus. I loved that about this book. It keeps the reader wondering whats going to happen next.

Have you listened to any of Christine Williams’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've listened to several of Christine William's performances. Her voice is the reason I bought this audio book. She makes each of her characters very distinct. She makes every book she performs a delight. I've been a very prolific reader of printed books all my life. Due to physical hardships I have had to turn to Ebooks and audio books. Many voice actors either put me to sleep or grate on my nerves. Christine Williams's voice immerses me into the story and characters. .

Who was the most memorable character of The Art of Peeling an Orange and why?

Anna Garibaldi of course. The illustration of "Don't judge a book by its cover. Uncovering all her mysteries was like peeling an orange.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Haunting and Poetic

The imagery Ms. Avilan conjures up in this novel is stunning and poetic. The narration contributes to this book having an dreamlike quality. While I did not like the main character, Anna, I still found the story compelling. Usually if I don't care for one of the main characters, I can't connect with the work, but that was not the case here. This book dealt with themes that were greater than any one single character and I know that I will find myself mulling this novel over in my mind for weeks to come. There is a certain lyrical quality to this book that reminds me of the three novels that make up The Secret Trilogy by Francine Saint Marie. The narration by Christine Williams fits the narrative perfectly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pleasently surprised

Interesting plot/plot twists, good character development and well read. I'd recommend this if the storyline interests you...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved this book.

I loved this audio book. Excellent. What a lot of twists and turns. I love Christine Williams narration. Beautifully written by Victoria Avilan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

I can't compare it to any other books

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It's a unique, strange, unexpected, multilayered story.

What other book might you compare The Art of Peeling an Orange to and why?

None.

What about Christine Williams’s performance did you like?

She's one of the best narrators I have listened to (and I have listened to many).

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Unfortunately I didn't have time, but I was almost wishing for a long drive, so I could continue listening.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Sublime moments

Interesting characters and sublime moments kept me involved in this story. I didn't love it as much as I loved A Small Country About To Vanish (also by Victoria Avilan), but scenes like the title event, the peeling of an orange, became trancendental. Descriptions of art, and of places had great depth. The relationships often required more suspension of disbelief than I could afford.
The voices of the characters were not well-differentiated by the reader, whose tones carried more than a modicum of haughtiness - more than the story required in my opinion.
Overall, a good and well-written story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful