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One Apple Tasted

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An irresistibly witty and charming comedy of manners examining the effect of long-ago events on one woman's search for a fairytale ending in the present   Meet Dora Jerusalem, features assistant to the assistant features editor of Modern Woman, a glossy magazine whose employees are all thin, rich, and beautiful.  New to London and desperate to succeed, Dora is drawn into a w An irresistibly witty and charming comedy of manners examining the effect of long-ago events on one woman's search for a fairytale ending in the present   Meet Dora Jerusalem, features assistant to the assistant features editor of Modern Woman, a glossy magazine whose employees are all thin, rich, and beautiful.  New to London and desperate to succeed, Dora is drawn into a whirl of launches and parties where she meets a striking young man named Guy Boleyn. Follow Dora as she navigates her way through a maze of jealous colleagues, weddings that don't exactly go to plan, and a destructive family secret—all to try and find the fairytale ending she's always hoped for. Set between 1980s London, 1950s in the Shires, and a breathtaking trip to Himalayan India, this charming story is part family saga, part classic love story, and part coming-of-age tale.


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An irresistibly witty and charming comedy of manners examining the effect of long-ago events on one woman's search for a fairytale ending in the present   Meet Dora Jerusalem, features assistant to the assistant features editor of Modern Woman, a glossy magazine whose employees are all thin, rich, and beautiful.  New to London and desperate to succeed, Dora is drawn into a w An irresistibly witty and charming comedy of manners examining the effect of long-ago events on one woman's search for a fairytale ending in the present   Meet Dora Jerusalem, features assistant to the assistant features editor of Modern Woman, a glossy magazine whose employees are all thin, rich, and beautiful.  New to London and desperate to succeed, Dora is drawn into a whirl of launches and parties where she meets a striking young man named Guy Boleyn. Follow Dora as she navigates her way through a maze of jealous colleagues, weddings that don't exactly go to plan, and a destructive family secret—all to try and find the fairytale ending she's always hoped for. Set between 1980s London, 1950s in the Shires, and a breathtaking trip to Himalayan India, this charming story is part family saga, part classic love story, and part coming-of-age tale.

30 review for One Apple Tasted

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    Argh. This is a difficult book to rate. There's lots in it that's very good - the characters are interesting and the book had me hooked early on - but the second half is a bit odd and the pacing is weird. There are bits where the characters seem to act wildly out of character... and I just couldn't understand why Dora would wait for Guy. As in, just ... wait. For fifteen years. Surely you'd see each other more than once? Drop them a postcard or something? It just seemed weird, especially as I cou Argh. This is a difficult book to rate. There's lots in it that's very good - the characters are interesting and the book had me hooked early on - but the second half is a bit odd and the pacing is weird. There are bits where the characters seem to act wildly out of character... and I just couldn't understand why Dora would wait for Guy. As in, just ... wait. For fifteen years. Surely you'd see each other more than once? Drop them a postcard or something? It just seemed weird, especially as I couldn't see what it was that made Guy worth waiting for. I could see that Dora loved him but couldn't see why. He just seemed to dump all sorts of crap on poor Dora, and do it over and over and over. When they end up together it's clearly supposed to be the fairytale ending but I felt a bit flat. Also, there were some little errors that spoiled the flow a bit. But I'm an editor so these things matter more to me than to others, I suspect. So, hard to rate because the book itself was 'OK' but the writing was better than a 2 star review would imply.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    One Apple Tasted is Josa Young’s debut novel that she self-published a few years ago, the book has finally found a mainstream publisher and was subsequently re-released. One Apple Tasted is a book I had never even heard of until I was approached to review it for the site. I thought it sounded intriguing and was pleased to not be disappointed. One Apple Tasted begins in 1982 just as Dora Jerusalem is about to meet the man who will become the love of her life, Guy Boleyn. At first it’s easy to see One Apple Tasted is Josa Young’s debut novel that she self-published a few years ago, the book has finally found a mainstream publisher and was subsequently re-released. One Apple Tasted is a book I had never even heard of until I was approached to review it for the site. I thought it sounded intriguing and was pleased to not be disappointed. One Apple Tasted begins in 1982 just as Dora Jerusalem is about to meet the man who will become the love of her life, Guy Boleyn. At first it’s easy to see why she’s so attracted to Guy as he’s rather suave and confident of himself. As the book progresses, though, it turns out Guy has a lot of faults and is actually a bit of a love rat. Dora puts up with him though and they eventually marry in secret just before Guy is due to fly out to New York. He promises to come back eventually… We then fly backwards in time to 1939 where a young woman is sitting in a Harley Street clinic, worrying about her pregnancy when another woman sitting in the waiting room, Emma, tries to cheer the girl, Leora, up. Emma offers Leora a place to stay, as Leora has only just recently come over to Britain, from France, due to the war and doesn’t like the people she’s meant to be staying with. We then arrive in 1940 and find Emma died during childbirth and Leora decides to look after Emma’s daughter as well as her own. We then fly forwards in time to 1958/1959 where two young women, Hilly and Tirzah are getting ready to go to a ball. Once at the ball, though, their lives are about to change as the hostess’s sons catch the girls’ eyes. The book covers a lot of time periods, the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 80’s, 90’s and, briefly, the 00’s. I thought so many time periods would confuse me but, although I’ve mentioned several time periods, we spend most of our time in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s safe to say the main plot of the story is Dora’s love for Guy and it’s Dora we spend most of our time with. I would have liked more time spent in the 30’s/40’s and 50’s as I loved the storylines set there as well as the descriptions of the time periods. I’m not usually a fan of books set in anything other than the late 90’s/00’s so it was refreshing to enjoy something set in the past. The thing Josa Young does best in One Apple Tasted, is weave all of the stories together as well as give us some fantastic female characters/relationships. Dora is a very enjoyable main character, although I did, at time, question why she was so loyal to Guy when he was so disloyal back. I felt very sympathetic to everything she was going through and I could see that she truly loved Guy, no matter what he had done to her. I absolutely loved Leora, she was probably my favourite character, the way she so selflessly gives up everything in 1940 to take care of Hilly, as well as her own daughter Tirzah, is quite outstanding and I wish she’d been present in the book a bit more. I found it very difficult to compare the Hilly we meet in 1958 to the Hilly Dora tells of in the 1980’s/1990’s, as she seems so young and innocent in 1958 whereas she’s bitter and cold in the 80’s/90’s. It seems quite a dramatic change of personality but as we uncover family secrets, all is kind of revealed. I also liked Tirzah, Leora’s daughter, and I’d loved to have seen more of her also. Guy is the main male character in the book and I wasn’t a huge fan of him. I thought he took advantage of Dora’s good nature and didn’t like that. There are many more characters interwoven into the story but I found it very easy to keep up with all of the them. The writing is fantastic as Josa Young really makes each decade it’s own and I felt transported from one decade to the next as we went through them all. Josa Young is a hugely talented writer and deserves huge respect for setting a book in multiple time periods and managing to make the entire thing immensely interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book although I do have a few gripes. My main problem is just how fascinated Dora was with Guy. I can understand the whole first love thing completely but even after everything he did, over a period of over twenty years, Dora still would go running back to him. I mean, I loved what Dora did at the wedding, that was a truly fantastic scene. However pages later, Dora was off to India which ruined it all completely for me. My last gripe is the ending, and again, it’s related to Guy and Dora. It was all a bit… quick. If it had to end the way it ended, then I would have liked a few more pages telling us precisely how it all happened. I mean, I truly thought it was ending one way about 5 pages towards the end when it suddenly veered off into another direction and we only had 5 pages to tell us all about it. Very rushed I feel and a tad confusing; I had to read it twice to fully understand it. I would still wholly recommend you read One Apple Tasted as it is a hugely enjoyable novel, spanning numerous decades and written beautifully. Coming from a girl who hates books set in anything other than modern times, that is a huge recommendation! One Apple Tasted is a truly fantastic read and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jaffareadstoo

    Set between several very different time frames, One Apple Tasted explores the boundaries between love, friendship and those indefinable moments which can change the course of a life in a heartbeat. The story opens in 1982, on St Agnes Eve, when according to Keats... “..Young virgins might have visions of delight...” and for Dora Jerusalem meeting the charming Guy Boleyn at a party offers a very charming vision of delight. I enjoyed getting to know Dora; she is product of her time. I remember tha Set between several very different time frames, One Apple Tasted explores the boundaries between love, friendship and those indefinable moments which can change the course of a life in a heartbeat. The story opens in 1982, on St Agnes Eve, when according to Keats... “..Young virgins might have visions of delight...” and for Dora Jerusalem meeting the charming Guy Boleyn at a party offers a very charming vision of delight. I enjoyed getting to know Dora; she is product of her time. I remember that to be young and female in the eighties was a time of great individuality, however, for Dora, despite her independence, she yearned for the conventional. I was less sympathetic to Guy who I felt was an ungentlemanly man and undeserving of Dora’s adoration. Whilst Guy and Dora’s friendship is beset with problems, which beguile throughout the whole of the novel, interspersed within the narrative are the threads of two quite different stories which when taken as a whole help to pull the entire book together. I won’t go into great detail about plot as that would spoil the overall charm of the story but what I’ll concentrate on is the way that the author manipulates all the threads so that , like a mammoth jigsaw puzzle, when the last little piece fits , you think ..ah, yes, that makes sense ! Overall, One Apple Tasted is nicely written, and I can see why there was such excitement about it when it was first published, however, it must be remembered that this was the author’s debut novel, and at times, perhaps her enthusiastic excitement at this being her first novel shows in trying to place too many people and plots together. However, generally speaking the book works rather well and once I had all the characters in their rightful place in my mind, I could relax into the story. I’m embarrassed to say that this book has sat unread on my book shelf since its publication in 2009. I remember reading a very good review of the book in one of the weekend newspapers and bought it on the strength that. Why it has then remained unread is a mystery to me - it just emphasises that we all have hidden gems squirreled away for a rainy day and that from time to time we should delve into the dusty recesses of our bookshelves to see what hidden delights we can discover.

  4. 5 out of 5

    K

    People, I SHOULD NOT READ FICTION because once I start I have a really difficult time putting a book down and it makes me less productive. But anyway, I did read this. Started it one evening in bed when I was weary, didn't get into it at first, then returned to it last weekend. And I'm happy to say, it's a good one. And exceptionally good considering I paid £.99 in an Amazon sale. The main characters are all well drawn and Dora in particular is quite sympathetic. The story line is a slow burn an People, I SHOULD NOT READ FICTION because once I start I have a really difficult time putting a book down and it makes me less productive. But anyway, I did read this. Started it one evening in bed when I was weary, didn't get into it at first, then returned to it last weekend. And I'm happy to say, it's a good one. And exceptionally good considering I paid £.99 in an Amazon sale. The main characters are all well drawn and Dora in particular is quite sympathetic. The story line is a slow burn and it's not immediately obvious how things might be connected. So yes, read it if you're in the market for something a bit more heavy than fluffy but not Wolf Hall challenging.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Isabel Wolff

    A lovely and unusual book with a vintage feel - it's set in the 1980s, then goes back to the '40s and '50s before returning to the present day and the spilling of family secrets. The wedding scene in particular was so vivid it made me miss my stop on the Picadilly line! Highly recommended. A lovely and unusual book with a vintage feel - it's set in the 1980s, then goes back to the '40s and '50s before returning to the present day and the spilling of family secrets. The wedding scene in particular was so vivid it made me miss my stop on the Picadilly line! Highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    From the cover I was expecting a light, frothy story but I was unexpectedly surprised to find it was funny, moving and an enjoyable read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    I wanted to like Dora, I really did. Its just the more I got to know her the less I cared about her. She was just a bit drab and dull. I think she was supposed to be written as different than the other cosmopolitan ladies in her social circle, and more down to earth. It worked, a little too well, she was so homely and down to earth she didn't appear to have a personality. I sort of wanted to like Guy, but well he's sort of just a spoiled cad who does whatever he wants. I found it hard to root fo I wanted to like Dora, I really did. Its just the more I got to know her the less I cared about her. She was just a bit drab and dull. I think she was supposed to be written as different than the other cosmopolitan ladies in her social circle, and more down to earth. It worked, a little too well, she was so homely and down to earth she didn't appear to have a personality. I sort of wanted to like Guy, but well he's sort of just a spoiled cad who does whatever he wants. I found it hard to root for Guy and Dora to have a happy ending as I didn't particularly care for either of them. Guy never really seems to grow and Dora never seems to find a backbone. What saved the book for me was the interspersing of the story of Dora's mother in the 1950's. She was a fascinating character as were the rest of her family. It was very interesting to see how the things that happened to her growing up and as a teenager affected how Dora was raised and what she learned about love. I wish there was more of the 1950's and less of the 1980's. Though really both stories were completely told so there was no reason for more, just that I liked the 1950's part more. I received this book for free through the goodreads first reads program.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Claire Rutherford

  9. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Marina

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chas

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marie Pedler

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Kendal

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jo

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chasquis

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  17. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

  18. 4 out of 5

    Louise Keytel

  19. 4 out of 5

    Georgina

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tamsyn Murray

  21. 4 out of 5

    alicia croy

  22. 4 out of 5

    Selina

  23. 5 out of 5

    Martha

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  25. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  26. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Barbour

  28. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julie Brierley

  30. 5 out of 5

    ELAINE LOW

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