We begin with another memory of Jeanette’s, one in which she, her mother, and her mother’s friend, Mrs. White, are home, about to watch a religious program. However, a disturbance occurs when the neighbours begin to make noise.
The two women try to listen whilst covering Jeanette’s ears as they discern what are the sounds of sex. They send Jeanette out to get ice cream and, when she returns, they loudly sing a song about not giving in to temptation. The neighbours then complain which ignites Jeanette’s mother into preaching.
We then begin to learn more about Jeanette’s mother and her position as Treasurer of the Society for the Lost. Her position often takes her to the town of Wigan and her abilities in her role double the size of the society.
The society have yearly retreat weekends in Morecambe in a guesthouse owned by the previous treasurer. During one of these retreats, Jeanette offers to help a friend of her mother, a wreath maker, create flowers for a group of pupils that passed away in an epidemic.
Jeanette then recalls when her mother made her hand out pamphlets in her hometown. It began to rain and Mrs. Arkwright allowed her shelter under a booth. She is unable to give out all of the pamphlets and returns to witness a sermon in the conference area about perfection, which she dislikes.
We are then taken out of the chronology by another tale provided by Jeanette.
The story involves a prince who is desirous of a wife so perfect and so free of all marks and blemishes, that he has his companion, a goose inform his advisors of his wishes and they begin their search.
Three years pass and no woman is found worthy of the prince’s wishes. Therefore, the goose suggests that it is perhaps wise for the prince to change his wishes slightly, a suggestion that costs the goose her head.
Another three years pass and the Prince publishes a book detailing his beliefs that a world can be saved from evil and corruption if it produces a race of perfect beings.
The advisors finally find someone who is perfect in almost every regard, appearance and intelligence, but she is not interested in the prince due to his beliefs, claiming that balance is what should be sought after and not perfection.
The prince, after hearing advice from his advisors, orders the woman be executed for her rejection. After leaving the town, the prince buys some oranges from a man and is shocked when the fellow produces the very book that he wrote, claiming it to be a ‘bit weird’. The prince has realised his ways and has finally come to the conclusion of his failures.
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
This is the story of Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God’s elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts.
At sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves. Innovative, punchy and tender, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a few days ride into the bizarre outposts of religious excess and human obsession.