It was like picking up some strange fruit that was black and glossy on the outside and biting into the flesh to find the taste was bitter beyond words. But she could not spit it out. She had to chew on that flesh and swallow every bit of the pulp.

When Rebecca's father is killed in a car accident, she finds that her loss is a completely life-changing experience. For the first time in her life she's in a situation that she can't escape from but has to work at and puzzle her own way through.

The business of Rebecca's teenage rebellion is stopped in its tracks by the tragedy and her subsequent discovery that her father had kept secrets from her. As she struggles to understand her emotions and finds new ways to look at the world, Rebecca slowly finds her way back to family and friendships.

Brian Keaney brilliantly captures the unreality of the accident's aftermath. Rebecca's isolation and alienation is almost unbearably realistic but the book isn't mawkish or overly dramatic. The dialogue feels very genuine and the characters are so believable that they almost feel familiar. A great, thought-provoking read.

Age 11 plus --Rachel Ediss

Genre: Children's Fiction

Used availability for Brian Keaney's Bitter Fruit

Paperback Editions

May 1999 : UK Paperback

Title: Bitter Fruit (Black Apples)
Author(s): Brian Keaney
ISBN: 1-84121-005-6 / 978-1-84121-005-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Orchard Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU