Troubador Oranges and Lemons

Released: 28/01/2020

ISBN: 9781838592066

eISBN: 9781838597634

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Oranges and Lemons

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Gregarious teenager, Jessifer Jordan, has always been loyal and open, and her love of acting has made her an expert in pretence. So, when six-year old Victorian ghost, Adeline, appears in her life and Jess’s best friend won’t believe her, deceit becomes Jess’s natural ally. Previously fun-loving and sociable, she becomes serious and isolated in her quest to discover what Adeline really wants. Always curious, she finds herself whisked back in time to 1863 and into the clutches of a volatile doctor with an obsession for morphine. 

As she journeys back and forth into the past, she realises that Adeline reminds her of her dead sister and her submerged grief resurfaces. Will her great aunt Ruby’s counsel help her? Can she outwit the deranged medic? And whose is that smoky cat which keeps turning up out of the blue?

A new review from book blogger ChapterInMyLife
29 June 2020

#BookReview #OrangesAndLemons Paula Andrews @PaulaAAuthor #YAFiction #YoungAdult
49015667. sy475
Source: Amazon Purchase
Taking a step outside my usual genre, I am delighted to be reviewing this debut novel, Oranges and Lemons, from Paula F Andrews.

Before I share my thoughts, here's what the official blurb says:

Gregarious teenager, Jessifer Jordan, has always been loyal and open, and her love of acting has made her an expert in pretence. So, when six-year old Victorian ghost, Adeline, appears in her life and Jess's best friend won't believe her, deceit becomes Jess's natural ally. Previously fun-loving and sociable, she becomes serious and isolated in her quest to discover what Adeline really wants. Always curious, she finds herself whisked back in time to 1863 and into the clutches of a volatile doctor with an obsession for morphine.

As she journeys back and forth into the past, she realises that Adeline reminds her of her dead sister and her submerged grief resurfaces. Will her great aunt Ruby's counsel help her? Can she outwit the deranged medic? And whose is that smoky cat which keeps turning up out of the blue?

My thoughts:

My head has been in some dark places recently with my reading materials so I decided to give myself a bit of a breather with my next choice. Oranges and Lemons is a debut from Paula F.Andrews. With a target audience of Young Adults, it is a delightfully quirky tale of ghostly goings on in York.

Jessifer Jordan lives with her aunt and while relatively settled in her life, she has an inquisitive mind and a flair for drama. Her friends think she is being overly dramatic and attention seeking when she confesses to her ghostly visitations. Oranges and Lemons follows her as she is compelled to find out exactly what happened to the little Adeline back in the 1860s.

This was a ghostly and ethereal read switching effortlessly between present day and Victorian York. I really enjoyed the scenes where Jess slips between past and present and if I were reading this as a child I'd be totally caught up in this intriguing mystery and ghost story. It was so easy to become immersed in Jess's life and her quest. I particularly enjoyed the scenes set in the 1800s, I thought they were extremely vivid and realistic, it is clear the author has done her research here. Full of delightful little plot twists and some spooky moments it presents a fascinating cast of characters, some of whom you will love and others not so much.

It is also full of fascinating facts and information without being a pedantic information dump, a great source of social history exploring the Victorian era and is bound to raise discussion points for young readers. But it also manages to do this without the reader feeling they are being "taught". I think this would be ideal for kids who don't engage as much with traditional learning, the issues raised may pique their interest further?

A perfect read for ages 10+ and a delightful read for an adult wishing to escape back into a childhood full of limitless imagination.



Check out my website for my blog about writing, being published, musings on books, characters, topics associated with my debut novel, Oranges and Lemons, and occasional random other stuff! If you like it, please feel free to comment and subscribe.
http://www.paulaandrews.co.uk

It was lovely to have my guest posts published on the following book blogs, too:

Book Inspector
https://bit.ly/2NRqjZ9


and

A Little Book Problem
https://bit.ly/2v9yyci


http://www.paulaandrews.co.uk

The Yorkshire Times

A Little Book Problem

The Book Inspector

This was an atmospheric read. Enjoyable for young adults and adults alike. Now I want to read more from this author.

by Dr J Reads


Well-plotted, original, and reasonably researched without letting history overshadow story or feel pedantic, Oranges and Lemons is a massively enjoyable novel.
The manner in which Jessifer and Adeline are brought back and forth in the story is very effective. There is a strong and clear sense of place, and the minor characters are tangible and interesting: because of this, I wanted more of them, particularly Jessifer’s friends - they were all such realized characters that they deserved more in the story.
The way contemporary technology comes up is natural and expected; this is something that many recent timeslip stories fail at, but Andrews handles it adeptly. This is also true of the way she sets out the Victorian bits of the story - they’re credible, and Andrews gives just enough detail that a curious reader has someplace to start if she wishes to read more about the period.
My only real complaint is that I didn’t find Jessifer’s backstory necessary - it didn’t ring true for me, and the orphan trope is a tired one in children’s and YA fiction. Instead of bumping off her entire family but not conveying the impact adroitly, Andrews would have done better, if tragedy was integral - I don’t think it was, Jessifer would’ve been just as compelling and solid without earthshattering loss - then something that would’ve been less visible in the weave of the book as a whole would suit better.
All in all, this was a terrific read, and I look forward to more from Paula Andrews.

by June


I bought this lovely book as a treat from my Granddaughter. When she had finished it, in double quick time, she told me I would enjoy it. She was right. The characters draw you in from the start. The story is pacey, the tension is well played, and I love a timeslip tale.

by Maggie Powell


As a 29 year old reader, I really got into this book and found it hard to put down. It would be even more perfect for an audience aged 10-15 though!
The story is well written with loveable (and some not so loveable) characters, and an exciting, pacy storyline. It is a modern ghost story that will have even reluctant readers hooked!!

by Katie


As a 29 year old reader, I really got into this book and found it hard to put down. It would be even more perfect for an audience aged 10-15 though!
The story is well written with loveable (and some not so loveable) characters, and an exciting, pacy storyline. It is a modern ghost story that will have even reluctant readers hooked!!

by Katie


Paula F. Andrews

I have been a nurse, midwife and craftsperson. I grew up in North Yorkshire and now live in Glasgow with my husband and grown-up children. Writing seriously since 2012, I have won numerous prizes including Strathkelvin Writers' Group overall prize for 2019 and the Scottish Association of Writers prize for YA fiction in 2017. I have also been published in Aquila and Scottish Memories magazine.


Paula Andrews

Paula Andrews
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