I wanted to love this book, because I love Jeanette Winterson. I mean, as a person and a writer, I greatly admire her. Every time I hear her speak I want to stand up and applaud, she’s witty and irreverent and insightful and inspiring and this – Oranges, is THE quintessential Winterson novel, isn’t it, so I just HAD to love it?
But I didn’t! Not at all! It was painful and slow and downright bizarre in places. There were loose threads that couldn’t be pinned down and unresolved issues and a lot of plodding, plodding, plodding. But then again, there were times of real connection; real sympathy and humour. It got me all in a muddle. I had the same reaction to Written on The Body, which I loved right the way up until Winterson started drawing analogies between a woman’s crotch and the smell of a cooking partridge. You know that moment when you’re going, “yep, you got me, I’m with you, I’m listening, I hear ya” and then all of a sudden “….ahh, shit, nope. You lost me.”
But that’s ok. I still reserve my right to keep on loving Jeanette Winterson, even though her novels seem intent on not loving me.