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Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller
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Bitter Orange

Due to publisher restrictions, this audiobook is unavailable for purchase in your selected country.
Narrator Rachel Bavidge

This audiobook uses AI narration.

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Length 9 hours 25 minutes
Language English
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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller, read by Rachel Bavidge.

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.

'A twisty, thorny, darkly atmospheric page turner about loneliness and belonging' Gabriel Tallent, author of My Absolute Darling

'Incredibly atmospheric, vivid and intriguing. I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't reading a forgotten classic' Emma Healey

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Reviews

Nothing is quite what it seems in this engrossing, moreish novel about a naïve woman and the hedonistic couple who beguile her Rich and compelling. Fuller is an accomplished writer Reminds me of JL Carr's A Month in the Country, Daphne Du Maurier's Jamaica Inn, and Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Incredibly atmospheric, vivid, and intriguing. I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't reading a forgotten classic. A stealthy shocker about thwarted desire. A sinister, slow-burn tale that saves its most heart-wrenching revelation for last A twisty, thorny, darkly atmospheric page turner about loneliness and belonging As haunting as tuberose and delicate as a scalpel Heady, claustrophobic . . . makes for perfect heatwave reading. Echoes Penelope Lively's Booker-winning Moon Tiger, Anita Brookner's Look At Me, and Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger A rich and hypnotic read This darkly smouldering, desperately sad, superior psychological thriller contains shades of Zoe Heller's Notes On A Scandal 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. Atmospheric. Rich, clever and very readable. A delicate and disturbing read, alive with love, lust, envy and guilt A sinister story that considers the terrifying lengths people will go to escape their pasts. 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. Bitter Orange reads like an assured, old-school, du Maurieresque classic. It's an atmospheric page-turner that speeds us towards a bloody climax of shocks and surprises Sinister and suspenseful, this gothic novel simmers with guilt, lust and envy Bewitching, otherworldly . . . full of dark foreboding. Claire Fuller is a dazzling storyteller. A compulsive page-turner. Fuller creates an atmosphere of simmering menace with all the assurance of a latter-day Daphne du Maurier A rich, dark pressure cooker of a novel that simmers with slow heat and suppressed tension Dark, beautifully written. It reminds me very much of Ian McEwan's Atonement, with similar slow-build tension and claustrophobic atmosphere An exquisite and skilfully written novel, which worms its way under your skin while Frances's loneliness seeps off every page Fuller is a master at summoning the atmosphere of a heady, hot summer that thrums with tension Multi-layered, lush, twisty and brilliantly clever A smart creation from a skilled writer: a heady psychological novel that builds its layers carefully to allow gradual revelations and stomach-churning surprises Full of complex characters and narrative richness Loneliness, guilt and atonement are at the heart of the atmospheric Bitter Orange Naturally engaging and elegantly written. Fuller is an amply gifted storyteller With shades of Brideshead and Manderley, Claire Fuller's atmospheric third novel plays a satisfyingly unpredictable game with reader expectations. Prepare to be meticulously unsettled and horribly enthralled Full of dark foreboding. Claire Fuller is a dazzling storyteller Cannily releasing clues on the way to an explosive finale . . . The lush setting and remarkable characters make for an immersive mystery Elegant, atmospheric, vivid Beautifully written, with echoes of Barbara Vine and Daphne du Maurier Sumptuous and sinister with gothic hints, this is a compelling tale of blurred friendships Expand reviews