Tuesday 3 January 2023

Bad Fruit by Ella King | Book Review

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Bad Fruit by Ella King
Star rating: 4/5
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Publication date: 18th August 2022


Every evening she pours Mama a glass of perfectly spoilt orange juice. She arranges the teddy bears on Mama’s quilt, she puts on her matching pink clothes. Anything to help put out the fire of Mama’s rage.


But Mama is becoming unpredictable, dangerous. And as she starts to unravel, so do the memories that Lily has kept locked away for so long.
She only wanted to be good, to help piece Mama back together. But as home truths creep out of the shadows, Lily must recast everything: what if her house isn’t a home – but a prison? What if Mama isn’t a protector – but a monster...

This is probably one of the toughest books I've read yet. 

Bad Fruit is the story of Lily, daughter to a Singaporean mother and English father, and the abuse she and her siblings suffer at the hands of their parents. 

Lily thinks of herself as the favourite child. She knows how to placate her mother. She serves her, and pre-tastes, the slightly spoiled juice that her mother loves, dyes her hair, wears contacts and the wrong shade of foundation to be more like her mother. But when she starts having flashbacks and hallucinations the summer before she is due to study law at Oxford, more about her mother's life and her own life are revealed. How the trauma spans generations and how her siblings tried to save her from remembering.

This is written beautifully. It is so dark and disturbing that I did have trouble reading it because I felt so sad. I don't want to go into too much detail about the actual story but it is a mix of domestic thriller and psychological thriller. Very well done.

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