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Fruit of the Lemon [Kindle Edition]

Andrea Levy
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Faith Jackson fixes herself up with a great job in TV and the perfect flatshare. But neither is that perfect - and nor are her relations with her overbearing, though always loving family. Furious and perplexed when her parents announce their intention to retire back home to Jamaica, Faith makes her own journey there, where she is immediately welcomed by her Aunt Coral, keeper of a rich cargo of family history. Through the weave of her aunt's storytelling a cast of characters unfolds stretching back to Cuba and Panama, Harlem and Scotland, a story that passes through London and sweeps through continents.


Product Description

Amazon Review

Andrea Levy writes with wonderful immediacy and liveliness in this, her third novel about the experience of being black in Britain. It's the late 70's and Faith Jackson's in a hurry - to loosen the hold of her loving but strict parents, to "go her own sweet way". At her new job as a dresser at Television Centre Faith negotiates the trip-wires of being black in often slyly witty, seemingly throwaway asides. But her parents' announcement that they might go home to Jamaica and a vicious racist National Front attack on a local bookshop, propels Faith into crisis.

Urged by her parents--"Child, everyone should know where they come from"--she goes to Kingston to stay with garrulous Auntie Coral. For Faith, it was her aunt's and cousin's rich and lively sequence of conversational storytelling's that 'wrapped me in a family history and swaddled me tight in its stories' - then released her into a new sense of self.

Fruit of the Lemon is an affectionate and absorbing narrative that makes its points about racism's effacements and brutalities with unforced but striking resonance. It offers us a voice of pleasurable yet gritty substance and significance: millennial Britain needs more like this. --Ruth Petrie

Review

Funny and moving... Levy is an ironic comedian whose subtle, intelligent novel steers well clear of whimsy (Guardian)

Critical acclaim for Andrea Levy:

A pleasure to read... Entertaining and revelatory (TLS)

For Every Light in the House Burnin':

Reinforces Levy's reputation as an astute observer of modern British life (Financial Times)

'Andrea Levy is the long-awaited birdsong of one born black and gifted in Britain. Let her sing and sing' Marsha Hunt

'Every Light in the House Burnin' is a very fine début indeed - lucid, funny, quirky and touching, it held me to the last page' Ferdia Mac Anna

Always refreshingly undogmatic... [readers] will recognise the truthfulness of the world which Andrea Levy describes (Sunday Telegraph)

'A rich and colourful portrait of two very endearing individuals. The only disappointment is that after two hundred and fifty pages, it ends' Literary Review

For Never Far From Nowhere:

'An inspired coming-of-age novel with a mature grasp of generational conflict, pressure to conform and the fraught process of discovering one's identity, Never Far From Nowhere should be read by anyone growing up in Britain today' Scotsman

'Painfully perceptive and passionate, Never Far From Nowhere hits a raw nerve with its powerful concoction of poignancy and humour' Pride

'Never Far From Nowhere is about the painful, messy reality of family life - too much envy, too little love - as it is about race and identity. In this lively, crisp, raw voice, young black Londoners may have found their Roddy Doyle' Christina Patterson, Independent on Sunday

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2772 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Review (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FVLZLW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,584 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Andrea Levy was born in England to Jamaican parents who came to Britain in 1948. She has lived all her life in London. After attending writing workshops when she was in her mid-thirties, Levy began to write the novels that she, as a young woman, had always wanted to read - entertaining novels that reflect the experiences of black Britons, which look closely and perceptively at Britain and its changing population and at the intimacies that bind British history with that of the Caribbean. She has written four previous novels, Every Light in the House Burnin', Never Far From Nowhere, Fruit of the Lemon and Small Island. She has been a judge for the Orange Prize for Fiction, Orange Futures and the Saga Prize, and has been a recipient of an Arts Council Award.
Her second novel, Never Far From Nowhere, was long listed for the Orange Prize, and her most recent novel, Small Island, won the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best, the Whitbread Novel Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. It has now been adapted into a major BBC TV drama.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Family Tale 10 Mar. 2006
Format:Paperback
I think the strength of Andrea Levy is her ability to bring generations and thier interdependance (whether concious or otherwise) to life.
Her ability to show the weaknesses and strengths of our multicultural society with its moments of ugliness juxtaposed with its moments of colour blindness highlights both where our country has come from and where it is headed without rancour or bitterness.
This book is not just a great entertaining novel it is a book that brings to the fore the feelings and thoughts of anyone who is the child of immigrant parents.
Important social comment entertainingly told
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Home and Family Stories 24 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The protagonist in this novel, Faith, is a British girl, born of Caribbean parents who came to England from Jamaica on the Jamaica Producers' banana boat. The emphasis on Faith's life with her friends changes when her parents decide to return to Jamaica to retire. When Faith suffers from a breakdown, it is decided she should stay with her aunt, Coral, in Jamaica for a holiday. The narratives alternate between Faith's life in England and the stories related by her family members, and as the novel progresses, the family tree goes further back as she learns more of her parents' lives and her own history. After feeling out of place at first she learns to adapt saying "they laid a past out in front of me. They wrapped me in a family history and swaddled me tight it its stories". A very enjoyable book, focusing on identity and homeland.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fruit of the Lemon 24 Aug. 2005
Format:Paperback
Excellent book Andrea Levy has such a good ear for dialogue. She tells such a moving story with wit and makes you care for all the characters. I couldn't put it down.
I was given this book for a birthday present and have now bought it for lots of people; and I'm now reading all her other books.
The characters are so believable and real.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing! 31 July 2007
Format:Paperback
Ah, how I appreciate and enjoy Andrea Levy's work!

The lady writes beautifully, and, brings what I can only describe as "a cinematic eye" to her often subtle and unforced observations of characters, and, unerringly accurate and believable depiction of situations. There are too many moments to point out, but, I laughed at her gentle description of the protagonist Faith's parents, and, their love of collecting boxes of every kind and variety. I nodded my head in recognition of the scene where Faith visits a pub in the English countryside, and, encounters an individual who appears to have a problem understanding the not too difficult concept that a black person can actually be born in England! I myself have met quite a few such people....

It lightened and gladdened my heart to read about characters with whom I could so readily identify. The details of the protagonist, Faith Jackson's story, dovetail in many delicious ways with my own.

One of the important and little acknowledged issues that Andrea Levy brings to the fore with matter of factness and lack of fanfare is that of being accepted in your place of birth; of being seen to belong. Faith although born in England encounters situations (see above) where this is clearly not the case. Instead she is viewed as "foreign" and "other" by those who clearly associate black skin with "coming from somewhere else".

In light of this, one of the ironies revealed by her Jamaican relatives' patient and often loving recounting of family stories, is that she has white English, Irish and Scottish forebears. This echoes again in some ways much of my own Jamaican family background, and, isn't at all unusual, although I can imagine it may come as a surprise/shock to many white Britons.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's Done It Again! 29 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A simply told story that was a joy and a revelation to read. It made me laugh and go quite inside with recognition. These unfolding 'untold' stories of generations of a Jamaican family, and the central characters own search are wonderfully woven together. This was my story...and I wanted to read it out loud to everyone that knows (or thinks they know) me! I always enjoy Andrea Levy - and with this novel she moves on from strength to strength.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best so Far 8 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Waited ages for this to come out in paperback and it wasn't a disappointment. I only discovered Andrea Levy late last year, but boy can this woman write. Her books are totally unputdownable and just sweep you along with them. I just hope that there are many more to come, as she is reaching great maturity in her writing. The characters are very believeable and the plot is very straightforward, giving you ample time to wallow in the descriptive detail, which brings the everyday and mundane to life. Keep them coming, Andrea.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vivid, feisty and warm. 3 July 2009
Format:Paperback
This is a feisty yet beautifully subtle story of a woman's search for her identity. Its themes are universal and speak to anyone who has ever felt that they don't belong. The incidents which lead to Faith's identity crisis are subtlety and truthfully written.

All of the characters in the novel are vividly written with integrity, warmth and humour. Faith is a particularly engaging protagonist and provides the strength of character needed to hold our attention throughout. Her hunger for knowledge is fully imparted to the reader and she takes us with her on her journey of discovery.

An enjoyable read with some memorable moments. Thought-provoking without preaching.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... most of Andrea Levy's books - this is my favourite. Full of...
Have read most of Andrea Levy's books - this is my favourite. Full of colourful characters.
Published 2 months ago by Nick
5.0 out of 5 stars Super ebook!
Excellent read!
Published 2 months ago by Mrs Yvonne Worrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read
Published 2 months ago by K Blomfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed very much
Published 3 months ago by Miss R A Dutton
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful read.
Andrea Levy does it again...beautiful read.
Published 3 months ago by Nippy
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down.
This was my first Andrea Levy novel and now I cannot wait to read the rest. Awesome writer! I connected with this story on so many levels.
Published 7 months ago by Dawn & Darren
5.0 out of 5 stars Fruit of the lemon
I enjoyed Andrea Levy's Small Island and decided to read this and it did not disappoint. I find the style of writing is as important as the story line and she's got style! Read more
Published 10 months ago by veronica
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating novel.
Rather different in some ways from the other novels of Andrea Levy as the struggles were more internal. Read more
Published 15 months ago by lindsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!
A good read-this book was a page turner and had me laughing all he way through. Excellent author who has a way with words. I highly recommend!
Published 17 months ago by Gillian
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Andrea Levy's books
Have read them all now and they haven't disappointed. Love her insight into the immigrant experience in the UK. Always love her characters.
Published 20 months ago by KKANAGES
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