Oranges are not the Only Fruit starts out when Jeanette is seven years old and living with her adoptive parents in England. Jeanette’s mother is very religious, and her father is not around much. She gets pretty lonely; until she is seven years old she has been homeschooled. Her mother is so religious that she even taught Jeanette how to read from the Bible. Because Jeanette’s mother is so religious, she almost brainwashes her daughter to become a missionary. However, once Jeanette begins school things change. When Jeanette is seven years old, she loses her hearing. Her mother and the church think it is something religious when it is really just a sickness, so she is admitted into the hospital. When Jeanette is well again so goes back to school, but things do not improve for her. She is still an outcast. When they do a project in school, Jeanette always picks something to do that is biblical, and because of that she is made fun of.
As Jeanette grows up she realizes that she does not believe everything her church tells her. The thing she disagrees about the most is the sermon they had about the nature of perfection. However, she still is at her mother’s side even though she is starting to have different beliefs.
As she starts her teen years she is starting to think more about romance. She listens to other woman talking about their husbands, and she wonders if she wants one. When Jeanette is walking downtown she meets Melanie, a girl working at a fish stall. Jeanette gets a job washing dishes at an ice-cream shop, and eventually Melanie and Jeanette become friends. Jeanette brings Melanie to church so she can be saved by Jesus. After that, they spend more and more time together which eventually leads into them falling in love with one another.
She comes out and tells her mother how happy she is and how she loves Melanie. The next Sunday the pastor asks them what is going on. Melanie confesses, but Jeanette argues and leaves. She runs away to Miss Jewsbury’s home, because she too is a lesbian. That night they sleep together. The next day the church elders perform an exorcism on Jeanette to get rid of her demons. At the end of fourteen hours, Jeanette still will not repent for her sins. So her mother locks her in a parlor for thirty six hours. After she is released, she pretends to repent, but she still loves both Melanie and God.
After a while Melanie disappears, and Jeanette is involved in the church once again. She now gives her own sermons, and even teaches Sunday school. Not long after this happens, she begins to mess around with Katy. One weekend the two were caught, Jeanette lies and says that she has been with Melanie. The church now believes that she has too much responsibility so now Jeanette must think she is a man. They make her give up teaching and preaching. But, Jeanette decides to just quit the church.
Jeanette’s mother forces her out of her home; for fear that the “sickness” will spread to them all. Jeanette has no money and...