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Bitter Orange


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A tense novel about deception, sexual obsession and atonement, by the prize-winning author of Our Endless Numbered Days.

About the Author

Claire Fuller was born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1967. She gained a degree in sculpture from Winchester School of Art, but went on to have a long career in marketing and didn't start writing until she was forty. She has written four novels- Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize, Swimming Lessons, which was shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award, Bitter Orange, and Unsettled Ground which won the Coasta Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2021. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester and lives in Hampshire with her husband.


Nothing is quite what it seems in this engrossing, moreish novel about a naive woman and the hedonistic couple who beguile her * Sunday Times Culture *
Rich and compelling. Fuller is an accomplished writer * Observer *
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. * Emma Healey *
A stealthy shocker about thwarted desire. A sinister, slow-burn tale that saves its most heart-wrenching revelation for last * Metro *
A twisty, thorny, darkly atmospheric page turner about loneliness and belonging * Gabriel Tallent, author of My Absolute Darling *
As haunting as tuberose and delicate as a scalpel * Laline Paull *
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 * Independent *
A rich and hypnotic read * Tatler *
This darkly smouldering, desperately sad, superior psychological thriller contains shades of Zoe Heller's Notes On A Scandal * Daily Mail *
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 *
Atmospheric. Rich, clever and very readable. * Amanda Craig, Telegraph *
A delicate and disturbing read, alive with love, lust, envy and guilt * S Magazine *
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. * Kirkus *
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 * Irish Times *
Sinister and suspenseful, this gothic novel simmers with guilt, lust and envy * Mail on Sunday *
Bewitching, otherworldly . . . full of dark foreboding. Claire Fuller is a dazzling storyteller. * Scotsman *
A compulsive page-turner. Fuller creates an atmosphere of simmering menace with all the assurance of a latter-day Daphne du Maurier * The Times *
A rich, dark pressure cooker of a novel that simmers with slow heat and suppressed tension * Ruth Ware *
Dark, beautifully written. It reminds me very much of Ian McEwan's Atonement, with similar slow-build tension and claustrophobic atmosphere * The Pool *
An exquisite and skilfully written novel, which worms its way under your skin while Frances's loneliness seeps off every page * Red *
Fuller is a master at summoning the atmosphere of a heady, hot summer that thrums with tension * Stylist *
Multi-layered, lush, twisty and brilliantly clever * The Sunday Mirror *
A smart creation from a skilled writer: a heady psychological novel that builds its layers carefully to allow gradual revelations and stomach-churning surprises * Financial Times *
Full of complex characters and narrative richness * The Sunday Times Culture *
Loneliness, guilt and atonement are at the heart of the atmospheric Bitter Orange * Good Housekeeping *
Naturally engaging and elegantly written. Fuller is an amply gifted storyteller * Spectator *
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 * Country Life *
Full of dark foreboding. Claire Fuller is a dazzling storyteller * Belfast Telegraph *
Cannily releasing clues on the way to an explosive finale . . . The lush setting and remarkable characters make for an immersive mystery * Publishers Weekly *
Elegant, atmospheric, vivid * The Big Issue *
Beautifully written, with echoes of Barbara Vine and Daphne du Maurier * Andrew Taylor, Spectator Books of the Year 2018 *
Sumptuous and sinister with gothic hints, this is a compelling tale of blurred friendships * Prima *

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