Fruit Woman by Kate Rigby #BlogTour #BookReview

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 in Devon: Myrtle Cottages. 
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, and victim of a rape several years before. 

In the context of the family holiday, where games of cards, scatological 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, who 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?

I'm delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Fruit Woman today, my grateful thanks to the author  and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my ecopy of the book.
Fruit Woman is mostly set over the course of just a fortnight, it is told from the perspective of Helen as she holidays in Devon with her extended family and on the surface not a huge amount happens really. The family go on day trips, play cards or chess, catch up with one another and worry about going to the toilet, developing viruses and who is going to sleep where. It's all very relatable, particularly as I often holidayed in Devon with my family in the 1980s. However, Helen's anxieties about their prospective house guests during the second week cause her reflect on her past and through her memories the novel becomes much more than a whimsical family drama. 
Fruit Woman actually features a few sub-plots centred mostly on Helen, the most richly detailed being her recalling of bittersweet childhood memories - the bond she has with her sister has always been a source of great strength for them both as their rich and offbeat imaginary worlds provide respite from the misery of school life. She also remembers her adolescent friendship with Bella as they develop first romantic, then sexual feelings towards boys. Bella and one of her brothers, Dominic are due to join them in the second week. Dominic knows Helen's mother through their church; Helen can't help having mixed feelings about the time he will be spending with old family friend, Christine Wigg who is also joining them. She witnessed Christine's tragic descent into alcoholism following her rape and knows it's through the support of her mother and the church that Christine is slowly recovering but she has feelings for Dominic despite their religious differences and she is jealous of the concern he expresses for Christine's wellbeing. With Helen's cousin, Les  - the man originally accused of Christine's rape - due to stay as well, it's perhaps not surprising that Helen invokes the mysterious Fruit Woman as she seeks some clarity from this complex situation.
Fruit Woman is a richly told, lyrical and evocative tale about memories, secrets and lies. Helen's relationship with her parents. sister and grandmother is a loving one,  the teasing and bickering that comes from close family ties give the story a touching warmth - yet there are dark undertones throughout, with shocks in store as the truth is finally revealed. This is an intelligent and thoughtful book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Fruit Woman can be purchased here. Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

"I am a hybrid writer, which means I have been published in a variety of different ways; traditionally, by small press and now independently, or self-published.
I've been writing novels for over thirty years.  Some of my book are available in paperback and all are available as e-books.
Social networking sites and writing sites have opened up a whole new world to me and introduced me to some great new writers and books I wouldn't otherwise have discovered.
I love cats, singing, photography, music and LFC.
I'm also an avid keyboard warrior, campaigning against social injustice.

Subscribe here for news about my books and writing."


  1. Many thanks for having me and my novel on your blog, Karen! I remember the saying 'two freckles past a hair' in a slight variation to the name of your blog :)

    1. My pleasure, Kate! I've heard of a freckle past a hair but not two freckles!

    2. There's always a chance I remembered it wrong, Karen!

    3. I've just googled it and you're right, it is one of the freckle/hair variations!

    4. Ah there you go! Good old Google :D

  2. Thank you so much for your support Karen, and for taking part in the Blog Tour x


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