An elegantly written mystery involving a woman as interesting as plain oatmeal, Bitter Orange is one of those stories that slowly creeps up on you.
Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Historical Fiction
Published: 19th July, 2018
Well, guys, as eager I was to read this book, I almost gave up on it after reading the first four chapters. Those four, long chapters were just so overwhelming, and found myself wondering, what the hell am I doing, reading about a dull woman (whose name I kept forgetting), going on about her boring business.
So, why did I keep going? For one, the writing is gorgeous, and dreamy. Then finally Cara and Peter entered the scene, and I found them quite fascinating. Bubbly Cara with her bouncy curls, and all that yelling in Italian piqued my curiosity. Just like Frances, I kind of wondered why does a woman like that chooses to become best friends with someone so unassuming, and frankly, uninteresting. Everything she did was extremely cringe worthy. I kept cheering her on, “You can do this, lady“, alas it seemed she was utterly hopeless. But, weirder things have happened, so let’s not jump to conclusions, I told myself, maybe that’s just the sort of person Cara needs to balance her out.
The story moves on two timelines. Twenty years after that fateful summer in 1969 Frances is dying. With her failing memory, she attempts to recall the events that changed her life forever. It’s all very ominous, and I kept guessing the whole time, just what that terrible thing was. Even though I had some ideas, it wasn’t that.
Bitter Orange is a slow burning, subtle thriller, with an unreliable narrator, a compulsive liar, and other shady characters; everything moves along at an unhurried pace like a lazy summer afternoon.
At the end the story turned out to be a captivating study of a toxic friendships, loneliness, and jealousy.