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Foreign Fruit by Jojo Moyes
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Foreign Fruit

by Jojo Moyes

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2651266,480 (3.13)None
The tiny, well-ordered seaside village of Merham holds little to interest the adventurous-- except for Arcadia, the breathtaking art deco house perched above the shoreline. Lottie Swift surrenders freely to its temptations and ultimately must face the hard consequences of her actions. Years later Daisy Parsons, a designer hired to make over the now-empty Arcadia, is fleeing a broken relationship. Daisy finds refuge at Arcadia, and a love she thought she would never know again.… (more)

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This is a story of things half said, almost said and never said. Set in a small seaside town its inhabitants will forever fight change to their own detriment. The reader is introduced to outsiders who will change everything forever.
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  kimkimkim | Aug 21, 2017 |
One of my favorite authors ( )
  INorris | Jun 8, 2017 |
Lottie, originally an evacuee, spends her teenage years with the Holden family. Celia is close to Lottie in age, and they are good friends. Against the wishes of Celia's parents, they become friendly with some 'bohemians', rather scandalous people for the time, who live in a large house called Arcadia. Lottie learns to question some of her beliefs and values, but eventually their involvement is too much and Celia is sent away. She returns with London gloss, engaged to a young man called Guy. And Lottie falls for him in a big way.

There's a huge cast of characters in the book; people in the village, visitors to Arcadia, even Celia's family. Her younger siblings seem almost irrelevant to the plot, and I never did get a handle on most of the others. In one sense it didn't matter, but equally it made it very hard to concentrate as I kept wanting to flick back to find out who was whom.

I was just getting interested in the story when it switched abruptly to a different set of characters, fifty years later. Daisy, a single mother with a young baby, agrees to take charge of renovating an old house - which turns out to be Arcadia. I realised that there were going to be some connections with the people in the first half of the book, but was so dazed by the different names that I didn't spot the obvious one until it was revealed quite a way through, and by that stage I'd almost forgotten what the first part of the story was about.

It probably didn't help that I've read it over three weeks, just a chapter or two at bedtime; I finally finished the last hundred pages or so yesterday, and it did make more sense. The intertwining of past and present worked well, and the ending was encouraging. However there was then a brief epilogue which left me confused once more; perhaps it was too subtle.

Three and a half stars would be fairer than three; the writing is good, and the characterisation of the main characters works well. Had I read it over a few days I might have given it four. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Jojo Moyes is hit or miss for me in her books. This one was a miss. Wasn't engaged after 150 pages so decided to move onto something else.
  bookczuk | Sep 16, 2015 |
I love Jojo Moyes' more recent books, so I thought I would go back and read her earlier ones. I read 30 pages of this book, which is the second one she wrote, and stopped. I simply couldn't muster up any interest whatsoever in the characters and their activities. For me, this was a waste of time. ( )
  flourgirl49 | Apr 25, 2015 |
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Original title "Foreign Fruit" reedited in US as "Windfallen".
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Merham is a well-ordered 1950s seaside town: the kind of town in which everyone knows their place (and those who don't are promptly put in it). Lottie Swift, an evacuee who has grown up with the respectable Holden family, loves Merham, while the Holdens' daughter Celia chafes against the constraints of the town.

When a group of bohemians takes over Arcadia, a stark Art Deco house on the seafront, the girls are as drawn to its temptations as Merham's citizens are appalled by them. They set in place a chain of events both within the Holden family and Merham itself which will have longstanding and tragic consequences for all concerned.

Now, almost fifty years on, Arcadia is returning to life, and its inhabitants stirring up strong feelings again. And prompting more than one person to look into their own romantic history and ask: Can you ever leave your past behind?
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