Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyLivia's fifth novel (after Relatively Norma) offers a spectrum of piquant and, at times, overly tart characters espousing a range of sexual identities and political agendas. Uneven dialogue and surprising twists give the novel a double-edged tone: romance is gendered and political, often exhaustingly debated, and yet some scenes are genuinely lively with pansexual flair. Naive Caroline finds herself in San Francisco, escaping an abusive lover in London. She boards at the house of Ella Weissman, a rude therapist who yearns for connection but is a cutthroat businesswoman when it comes to her bustling, lucrative domicile. Along the way, Caroline attracts Patti, "the bisexual trust fund babe," who is beautiful beyond belief and who pierces her body like notches in a gun when she kills her male amours. Caroline also meets Sydney, a hermaphrodite who wrongly believes he/she will never find love, and the two friends, among others, share Ella's wacky homestead. With these characters, love is lost and found, and lost again, quickly, crazily and sometimes murderously. Caroline is mostly disgusted with her lovers until she engages in a predictable session with zucchini, and when her abusive ex starts stalking her, she wishes she'd offed the violent woman when she'd had the chance. Readers may sense that Livia's attempts at a libidinous skewering of sexual mores is really a collection of unorganized fragments: the writing is often choppy and ungainly, and political thrusts (lesbian domestic violence, incest, a hermaphrodite's ostracism) are threaded unconvincingly throughout. But Livia's treatment of Sydney can be sensitive and even enlightening; her rambling account of renegade Patti may also strike the reader as a unique travelogue for a rough and awkward erotic journey. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
- Firebrand Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.49(w) x 8.47(h) x 0.55(d)
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Bruised Fruit based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
'Anna Livia's astringently humorous, no-holds-barred novel, 'Bruised Fruit,' is the story of British Caroline, lesbian escapee from an abusive relationship; Sydney, dainty hermaphrodite with a Southern drawl; and Patti, bisexual with a trust fund who inexorably, it seems, kills every man she sleeps with.' 'These three, along with a tantalizing array of minor characters, are thrown together in San Francisco, each in search of someone to tell his or her--or in the case of Sydney, his and her--secrets to. When fate gathers them at the home of Ella Weissman, a feminist therapist whose house is her significant other, the intertwined tale of their loves, fears, and confusions sinuously unfolds.' After I read the first few chapters of 'Bruised Fruit,' I was confused. Who is this story about Patti, Caroline or Sydney? A light bulb lit up inside of my head. This book was about all three characters. The author intricately wove a web that brought these characters together as bruised fruit later in the chapters. 'Bruised Fruit' may have confused me at first. Then I found myself entangled in the storyline. I didn't want to sit the book down. Caroline is continually shocked by exposure to her own 'tales of the city.' Sydney feels compelled, once and for all, to pick a gender. Patti wants to be sexually attractive without giving in to everyone else's desire and its negative effects, where she kills every man she sleeps with. (Patti does not kill them through the act of sex. She cannot be that talented. Or may be she is.) Then Patti finds herself attracted to Caroline. Could this be the death of Caroline? Does Sydney find love and chose a gender? Livia wrote 'Bruised Fruit' as a mixture of chilling comedy and neogothic. One thing I was taught by reading 'Bruised Fruit' was that I would check the fruit carefully in my cart before taking it home. It is better to squeeze it first and get to know your fruit. This way you will have no unwanted surprises. Place a copy of 'Bruised Fruit' in your cart. It is better than most characters you have taken home or fruit you have purchased!
A wacky, lighthearted style of writing applied to some serious subjects - incest, domestic abuse, and murder to name a few. If you enjoy a quickly paced novel that doesn't take itself too seriously, you might find Bruised Fruit to your liking.