> Skip to content

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

It is the summer of 1969, and Frances is writing a report on garden architecture in the attic of a dilapidated country house. But she is distracted. The glamorous, hedonistic Peter and Cara are staying in the rooms below, and Frances is surprised to discover that they are keen to spend time with her. 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. But as the 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 their lives, 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.

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780241341834

    August 20, 2018

    Fig Tree

    288 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9780241983461

    April 16, 2019

    Fig Tree

    288 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780241341827

    August 15, 2018

    Fig Tree

    288 pages

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Bitter Orange
    Claire Fuller

    EBook

    9780241983478

    August 2, 2018

    Penguin eBooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Extract

They must think I don’t have long left, because today they allow the vicar in. Perhaps they are right, although this day feels no different from yesterday, and I imagine tomorrow will go on much the same. The vicar – no, not vicar, he has a different title, I forget –  is older than me by a good few years, his hair is grey, and his skin is flaky and red, sore- looking. I didn’t ask for him; what faith I’d once had was tested and found lacking at Lyntons, and before that my church attendance was a habit, a routine for Mother and me to arrange our week around. I know all about routine and habit in this place. It is what we live, and what we die, by.

The vicar, or whatever he is called, is sitting beside my bed with a book on his lap, turning the pages too fast to be reading. When he sees I’m awake he takes my hand, and I’m surprised to find that it is a comfort: a hand in mine. I can’t remember when I was last touched – not the quick wash-over with a warm cloth, or the flick of a comb through my hair, these don’t count. I mean properly touched, held by someone. Peter, possibly. Yes, it must have been Peter. Twenty years ago this August.  Twenty years. What else is there to do in this place except count time and remember?

Continue Reading

Also by Claire Fuller