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The Resource Bitter orange, by Claire Fuller

Bitter orange, by Claire Fuller

Label
Bitter orange
Title
Bitter orange
Statement of responsibility
by Claire Fuller
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
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
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ For most of her adult life, Frances Jellico has colored within the lines while her lackluster life was made hollower by a complete lack of companionship. When she arrives on assignment to study the architecture at Lyntons, a decaying estate in the English countryside, she discovers an unexpected bonus, friendship with a young, hedonistic couple, Peter Robertson and Cara Calace. Peter has been assigned to inventory the valuables on site, while the tempestuous Cara keeps him company. Over the heady summer of 1969, the three form an increasingly volatile trio as they are sucked into a complicated vortex defined by each character’s complicated past. Fuller (Swimming Lessons​, 2017) is a master of propulsive action, making the ground spin as each unreliable narrator takes center stage. Every measured sentence (“‘I used to be a big woman,’ voluptuous Frances once said. ‘Now my flesh has melted away but the skin remains and I lie in a puddle of myself.’”) builds on itself with the crumbling estate providing the saturated backdrop for this ultimately macabre tale. A distracting plot element or two notwithstanding, Fuller’s tale offers a gripping and unsettling look at the ugly side of extreme need and the desperate measures taken in the name of love. -- Poornima Apte (Reviewed 9/1/2018) (Booklist, vol 115, number 1, p40)
  • Fuller’s brooding latest (after Swimming Lessons) is set in one of those decaying British mansions tailor-made for a story of dysfunctional relationships. In the summer of 1969, socially awkward and anxious Frances Jellico is 39 and has been hired by an American who just bought a crumbling estate in the British countryside to survey the landscape and buildings on it. Making herself at home in a decrepit attic room, she is surprised to discover a young couple there, living in the rooms below hers, and can’t resist spying on them through a peephole that conveniently links her bathroom to theirs. Peter, handsome and welcoming, has been hired to survey the contents of the manor, though he spends more time drinking up the contents of its wine cellar. Cara, Irish and pretentious, tells Frances long, implausible stories of her life, which the credulous Frances soaks up. Frances falls in love with Peter and believes he reciprocates her feelings while ignoring the more suitable vicar of the local church. Cannily releasing clues on the way to an explosive finale, Fuller moves fluidly between the time of the story and a period 20 years later, when Frances is lying in a hospital and close to death. The lush setting and remarkable characters make for an immersive mystery. Agent: David Forrer, InkWell Management. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed 08/13/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 33, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ In summer 1969, bookish Frances Jellico is hired by an American named Mr. Liebermann, the new owner of Lyntons, an abandoned English country estate. Her job is to evaluate the neglected grounds for restoration. When Frances arrives, she is surprised to find another couple settled in the mansion rooms below hers. Antiques expert Peter, also hired by Liebermann to report on needed repairs, and his girlfriend, Cara, a flighty, unstable woman, who tells Frances elaborate lies about her background. Frances finds the habits of this hedonistic couple troubling, so different from her own sheltered life in London, but when she confides in the local vicar, he warns her not to get involved. However, as the hot summer unfolds, Frances revels in her new freedom and is drawn in by reckless Cara and particularly Peter, who raids the wine cellar, sells off the Lynton family heirlooms, and pockets most of the money to pay alimony to his wife. Partly narrated by Frances 20 years later from her death bed, this story spirals and twists to a shocking conclusion. VERDICT Desmond Elliott Prize-winning Fuller's stunning third novel (after Swimming Lessons) is a masterpiece that takes us to the dark places of human emotions. --Donna Bettencourt (Reviewed 10/15/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 17, p55)
  • /* Starred Review */ Fuller's (Swimming Lessons, 2017, etc.) latest novel is seductive on the outside, but hidden within is a sinister story that considers the terrifying lengths people will go to escape their pasts. It's the summer of 1969, and for the first time in 39 years, Frances Jellico is free of any routine. One month ago, she buried her mother, the callous woman she'd been bound to since birth. When she's commissioned to survey and write a report on the garden architecture of Lyntons, an old English country house outside London, Frances leaves her home, and turbulent past, to settle into the mansion's furnished attic for the summer. From the moment she meets Cara and Peter, the attractive couple staying in the rooms below hers, Frances is besotted. Peter, she learns, has been hired to assess the foundation and state of the house, which, after years of neglect following the war, is in poor condition. Frances becomes enraptured by the carefree, unbridled passion Peter and Cara seamlessly exude. All her life, she has yearned for that sense of freedom—to be unburdened of her loneliness, her insecurities, her endless guilt. After discovering a peephole in her bathroom floor, Frances takes to watching their intimate lives play out from above. Equally intrigued by Frances, the couple invites her into their lives, eager to share their desires and secrets with a captive audience. The three spend their languid days indulging in decadent meals, drinking, sunbathing, and reveling in the frivolity of one another's company. But as Fuller's novel progresses, Frances' friendship with the couple turns claustrophobic. The stories Cara and Peter have fed Frances slowly begin to unfurl, revealing a labyrinth of deceptions that Frances finds herself in the middle of. When strange things begin to happen throughout the house, Frances realizes she knows nothing about Cara and Peter. Much like Lyntons, they're "beautiful on the surface, but look a little closer and everything is decaying, rotting, falling apart." In the vein of Shirley Jackson's bone-chilling The Haunting of Hill House, Fuller's disturbing novel will entrap readers in its twisty narrative, leaving them to reckon with what is real and what is unreal. An intoxicating, unsettling masterpiece. (Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10732622
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Fuller, Claire
Dewey number
823/.92
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR6106.U45
LC item number
B58 2019
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Manors
  • Hedonism
Target audience
adult
Label
Bitter orange, by Claire Fuller
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
23 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
317 pages
Isbn
9781947793156
Lccn
2018024161
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1024255800
  • (OCoLC)1024255800
Label
Bitter orange, by Claire Fuller
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
23 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
317 pages
Isbn
9781947793156
Lccn
2018024161
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1024255800
  • (OCoLC)1024255800

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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