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Bitter Orange

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

'A compulsive page-turner. Fuller creates an atmosphere of simmering menace with all the assurance of a latter-day Daphne du Maurier' The Times

From the attic of a dilapidated English country house, she sees them - Cara first: dark and beautiful, clinging to a marble fountain of Cupid, and Peter, an Apollo. It is 1969 and they are spending the summer in the rooms below hers while Frances writes a report on the follies in the garden for the absent American owner. But she is distracted. Beneath a floorboard in her bathroom, she discovers a peephole which gives her access to her neighbours' private lives.

To Frances' surprise, Cara and Peter are keen to spend time with her. It is the first occasion that she has had anybody to call a friend, and before long they are spending every day together: eating lavish dinners, drinking bottle after bottle of wine, and smoking cigarettes till the ash piles up on the crumbling furniture. Frances is dazzled.

But as the hot summer rolls lazily on, it becomes clear that not everything is right between Cara and Peter. The stories that Cara tells don't quite add up - and as Frances becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of the glamorous, hedonistic couple, the boundaries between truth and lies, right and wrong, begin to blur. Amid the decadence of that summer, a small crime brings on a bigger one: a crime so terrible that it will brand all their lives forever.

'An intoxicating, unsettling masterpiece' Kirkus

'Bewitching, otherworldly . . . full of dark foreboding. Claire Fuller is a dazzling storyteller' Scotsman

'It is rare for me to put down a novel and then immediately consider rereading it to see what cleverness I might have missed. This time, though, I am tempted' Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times

From Publishers Weekly

13 August 2018 – 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.
Bitter Orange
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  • USD 12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: 19 July 2018
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Seller: Penguin Books Limited
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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