The book opens with the protagonist, Yvonne Carmichael, in the dock being prosecuted - we don't know what for. then we flash back
The narrative was second person, which hardly ever works, but here wasn't too bad. However, the tone of the first few chapters were so self-absorbed that I almost gave up. Yvonne doesn't stop going on about her achievements, her academic career, how she manages to juggle her life. It really didn't endear me to her.
Then, around the 30% mark, it all started to get a bit more interesting and by 50% I was really enjoying it. I dislike books where people say, 'If you get through the first third, it gets really good' (*casts side-eye at Captain Corelli's Mandolin*) as I think *all* good books should be good all the way through. If you have to struggle to get past a section, then it stops being a good book. And that's why Apple Tree Yard only got three stars.