BAD FRUIT ELLA KING *****
LILY IS A GOOD DAUGHTER
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.
MAMA IS A GOOD LIAR
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 . . .
Bad Fruit is one of those books which stands out and stays in your head for a very long time. I would not say I ‘enjoyed’ reading it, but I did find it compelling, sinister and difficult to put down.
Our main character is Lily, a girl who is obedient and attentive to ‘Mama’ and ‘Daddy’ whom she lives with before she heads off to University at the end of the summer. Her mother is controlling and manipulative, getting her daughter to change her appearance (with hair dye, contact lenses and makeup) to appear a certain way and even going as far to make Lily taste her preferred spoilt orange juice for her each morning. We see the whole story through Lily’s eyes although when she starts to get flashbacks of her mother’s past we grow doubts about how reliable Lily is as a narrator and also how truthful Mama is being with her past.
Bad Fruit is quite a slow burn, but it keeps you hooked throughout and the sense of unease is compelling. I could not put it down in places hoping for a good outcome for Lily. The characters, although cruel felt well-rounded and fleshed out and the book felt realistic in its portrayal of cruelty.
Overall Bad Fruit is not an enjoyable read but it is an engaging one - a toxic tale that will keep you hooked. Thank you to NetGalley & HarperCollins UK – Harper Fiction for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
LINKS TO BUY