Cover credits adapted from royalty free stock original photos:
‘Autumn Girl’ ©Semenove @ www.dreamstime.com
‘Brambles/blackberry’ by ColinBrough @ www.rgbstock.com
Fruit Woman is narrated by Helen Scutt, a quirky and naïve twenty-seven-year-old. The image of the Fruit Woman has appeared to Helen at important times in her life, particularly in relation to her own sexual and spiritual awakening. But only now, while on holiday with her extended family, does she get her first warning message from the Fruit Woman. Set in the l980s, Helen returns with her extended family, after a twelve year break, to spend a fortnight at their favourite holiday destination: Myrtle Cottages in Devon. Due to join them for the second week of the holiday are: Helen's old friend, Bella, Bella's brother, Dominic, and Helen's cousin, Les. But shortly after the family have arrived on holiday, Helen's mother announces that she has also invited along someone from church for the second week of their holiday: Christine Wigg, a friend of the family, raped several years before. In the context of the family holiday, where games of cards, toilet worries, and deep discussions abound, the story centres on Helen's anxieties over the second week's 'guest list'. She's not seen Bella for years, she’s attracted to Dominic in spite of his religious beliefs, and she thinks it a bad idea for her mother to have invited Les, as he was originally accused of Christine's rape by her in-laws. Helen's concerns trigger off all sorts of childhood and adolescent memories, but as her anxieties mount, can she make sense at last of what happened years before?
"This was a lovely read from start to finish. Characters you could really relate to (if you enjoy the writing behind the sitcom The Royle Family for instance, you will really get something from this) these are people I have known in my life! Perfectly amusing dialogue, a young woman on the verge of a romantic and sexual awakening, and a mystery to help the plot along. The narrator Helen and her family are on holiday in Devon, where her mother has also invited her cousin Les, and an old family friend Christine. These two characters never actually arrive, but the story of Christine's rape and the cousin Les being blamed, is told in pieces throughout the plot. Towards the end Helen discovers a shocking truth about her so-called best friend, and the boy she thinks she has fallen in love with. I didn't see it coming and think I was as outraged and upset as Helen was. Wonderful writing, in a quirky, very British, and gritty style. Loved it." Amazon Reviewer