Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit - Jeanette Winterson
This is a wonderful book, lyrically written
Jeanette Winterson's first novel, a semi-autobiographical fictional work published in 1985, features a main character who is also named Jeanette, and is broken up into chapters, each named after a corresponding book in the Bible. From Genesis, which describes Jeanette's early years and offers the first look at the religious and societal views on 'Unnatural Passions', to Judges, which tells how Jeanette is cast away for having a second lesbian relationship, the role of religion is as prominent as another character.
After living on the outskirts of society, Jeanette returns home to be accepted somewhat by her adoptive mother; the two dance around any topic of importance. The novel ends with Jeanette missing three things - her relationship with God, her identity as a child of God, and a love that will encompass her, with "someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me". She knows, however, that that someone will never be a man.
This is a wonderful book, lyrically written, touching on the difficulties of reconciling religious views and sexuality; staying true to oneself versus conforming to society's take on right and wrong, or in this case natural and unnatural; and acknowledging love's existence wherever it's to be found. [Jenn Gibson]