Bitter Orange

Bitter Orange

Book - 2018
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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.
Publisher: Portland, Oregon : Tin House Books, 2018.
Edition: First US edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781947793156
Branch Call Number: Fic Full
Characteristics: 317 pages ; 23 cm


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Jun 19, 2019

So creepy and spooky, the sense of imminent dreadfulness and catastrophe will keep you at it. I had left it at work over the weekend, mulling over where events had led and the sense of dread intensified as I picked it up again the following week. Craftily inserted bits of information as the book progresses leads to you the completely unexpected ending.
NOT to be read in the dark on a stormy night!

Nicr Apr 25, 2019

A tale of toxic loneliness and guilt, storytelling and murder.

Apr 03, 2019

Intriguing and mysterious relationship complicated by secrets, lies and sexual tension between three people, two of whom were hired to temporarily live and report on a large run-down and forgotten estate. The woman hired to identify plants and structures included in the vast landscaping is a bit older and reserved than the charismatic young man who ignores his architectural reports and encourages the landscape artist to enjoying the advantages of the situation and living life to its fullest while catering to his beautiful and complex and somewhat unstable young woman companion. Loved the story line and characterizations along with flashbacks that kept me wanting to know what happens next.

Mar 13, 2019

This book was slow going. I really wanted to get into the story but the first half just dragged on for me. The book does improve and get interesting about 3/4 of the way through so I am glad I kept going. Seems like a boring story but it is strange and dark in some parts that your are not expecting.

ArapahoeKati Feb 14, 2019

Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart plus taut writing and a good bit of overhanging dread and loneliness with a dash of glam and forgotten history. I couldn't put it down (even when I had a migraine).

Dec 04, 2018

This was so good! The writing was spot on. It's not a happy book so if that's what you like I would steer clear of this book. But if you enjoy really well written stories with interesting complex characters (including an old rundown house) then try this book. I previously read "Swimming Lessons" from Claire Fuller. That book was good but I feel like she's really grown as a writer and this is the proof of that. One of my top reads of 2018!

Nov 28, 2018

As a reader, you'll know the all-too-rare frisson of pleasure that overcomes you when you open a book and almost immediately feel the atmosphere begin to seep inside you. You'll know the joy a reader feels when the character's voice speaks out so clearly that they seem to have sprung immediately to life in your head. These are the trademarks of the master storyteller and Claire Fuller is one of their guild, hooking the reader on page one and reeling her in bit by masterful bit with each succeeding chapter.

In short, I loved this Gothic treasure of a novel and read it in one long sitting. Someday, probably not too far into the future, I'll look forward to reading it once more. That's the kind of story it is.

Recommended for fans of "Rebecca" or early Barbara Vine.

Nov 08, 2018

The narrator, Frances, conceivably takes us from a time where she was caretaker of her dying mother to her summer job at an old estate. Here she meets and lives with Cara and Peter who have a questionable relationship with mystery and intrigue. There's a peephole in the floor to the bathroom below, Victor the vicar, strange finding of the past contents of the mansion, and the ensuing behaviours and interactions that take place. Some occurrences are left to the reader to decide but that often is what compels a good mystery. I felt the pace and careful reveal of information was akin to an obstacle course that eventually led us to an interesting end. Well told story.

Oct 26, 2018

There’s a line in the book that sums up it’s traverse well, “The feeling of everything being too late, pointless and wasted.” If you’re looking for a happy ending skip Bitter Orange; this book for me was too sad and depressing and left too many questions unanswered. If you love tragic, haunting characters and decaying mansions, read on.


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