❴Reading❵ ➶ Five Quarters of the Orange Author Joanne Harris – Dolove.info
From the author of Chocolat comes this novel set in a village on the banks of the Loire The main character again has a shop in this case a cr perie Again, food plays a central part in the story But this is a much darker story altogether, and a muchsatisfying read.Framboise is the daughter of Mirabelle Dartigen a woman held responsible by the villagers for a terrible tragedy which took place during the German occupation many years previously Framboise returns to the village anonymously, hoping for a fresh start, view spoiler although she has troubled memories She is determined to find out the truth, and strangely begins to pick up clues from her mother s recipe book, which she has discovered From the cryptic scribbles she begins to learn of her mother s sensuous obsession with food, which jars with her own recollections of how cruel her mother could be An incident dating from when Framboise was 9 years old is the key to the mystery It involves both the soldiers and villagers, and is an incident where there is great loyalty but also a deep betrayal hide spoiler I am head over heels in love with this book Only a terrific author can write about something as appalling as war and occupation and uneccesary death but yet make you feel so alive and carefree whilste reading it The prose was as mouthwatering, succulent and juicy as the food in the book and I wanted to be there Yes, I wanted to run down to the Loire and swim and splash and yell and hang upsidedown from trees overhanging the river and race through sun soaked fields and pick fruit in the orchards I wanted to sneak off on the back of bike to the nearest village to watch a film in the cinema unbeknown to my mother, I wanted to set traps in the Loire and catch fish and I wanted to go to market on a Thursday morning and sell home made pastries And all this under German occupation Only a talented author can make you feel like that while telling the story of something farsinister.This is a book about an old woman who comes back to the village of her childhood, but can t allow the villagers to find out who she really is Aged nine Framboise and her family has to make a hasty exit from Les Laveuses and now she can t allow them to know the truth of who she really is and also what really happnened back in 1942 The book is as sumptuous as it is teasing with bits of information that allows the reader to peice all the fragments together over the course of the story and lead us to the final catastrophic moments.I adored this book it was ripe, tangy and a feast for the senses I want to read it all over again But if not, it has made me hungry and now I need to go and raid the fridge The Novels Of Joanne Harris Are A Literary Feast For The Senses Five Quarters Of The Orange Represents Harris S Most Complex And Sophisticated Work Yet A Novel In Which Darkness And Fierce Joy Come Together To Create An Unforgettable StoryWhen Framboise Simon Returns To A Small Village On The Banks Of The Loire, The Locals Do Not Recognize Her As The Daughter Of The Infamous Mirabelle Dartigen The Woman They Still Hold Responsible For A Terrible Tragedy That Took Place During The German Occupation Decades Before Although Framboise Hopes For A New Beginning She Quickly Discovers That Past And Present Are Inextricably Intertwined Nowhere Is This Truth Apparent Than In The Scrapbook Of Recipes She Has Inherited From Her Dead MotherWith This Book, Framboise Re Creates Her Mother S Dishes, Which She Serves In Her Small Creperie And Yet As She Studies The Scrapbook Searching For Clues To Unlock The Contradiction Between Her Mother S Sensuous Love Of Food And Often Cruel Demeanor She Begins To Recognize A Deeper Meaning Behind Mirabelle S Cryptic Scribbles Within The Journal S Tattered Pages Lies The Key To What Actually Transpired The Summer Framboise Was Nine Years OldRich And Dark Five Quarters Of The Orange Is A Novel Of Mothers And Daughters Of The Past And The Present, Of Resisting, And Succumbing, And An Extraordinary Work By A Masterful Writer Five quarters of the Orange by Janne Harris is one of those novels that will stay with you long after you have turned the last page 4.5 Star RatingSet in a small town in rural France during the the Second World War, this novel tells the story of a young girl by the name Framboise Dartigen and how during the occupation of the town this young girl befriends a German Soldier and what appears to be a harmless friendship turns into something which both her family and the town will never forget for years to come.The story is extremely well told and I loved how Harris writes in two time periods without confusing the reader, one takes place in the present day and concentrates on the widowed Fromboise and the other story takes place in the past when the children are young and we learn through the eyes of Framboise what happened in Les Laveuses This is not a novel about the Second World War and does not focus on facts or figures or the details of history that some people might prefer, for me I have read a lot of books on the history of the war and I love my history books but this book tells a story all its own where the characters and the setting give the reader a sense of time and place and I found this a very atmospheric novel that I just wanted to finish in one go.The writing is beautiful and while the first 100 pages are slow paced there is always a sense from the author s writing that she is building you up for a great storyWe were always raised to keep things to ourselves It isn t a habit which can be easily broken I loved so much about this book and really wish I had read it as a book club read as there is so much to discuss here Its one of those books that you find outabout once you finish it when you think over all its twists and turns. I have to say that reading this novel made me appreciate Gentlemen and Players a bitThis time I knew what I was getting with Joanne Harris a dark atmospheric novel of psychological suspense She can certainly create dysfunctional child characters It is hard to imagine that a nine year old could be so ruthless, but it was a different time, a different place, and I felt for Framboise Just as Straitley was the perfect foil in Gentlemen and Players, so Paul is in Five Quarters of the Orange I liked them both They help soften the brutality.One thing is certain Joanne Harris novels are not easily forgotten Under the shroud of a new identity an aging woman returns to her childhood town She opens a caf and reopens the wounds of her past In German occupied France, 9 year old, Framboise, and her brother and sister secretly befriend a German soldier and trade secrets for black market goods Using the black market oranges to provoke her mother s migraine headaches, Framboise torments the woman and ensures herself unsupervised time with the soldier The friendship spurs a series of events which affect the lives of the family and their neighbors.Now with the perspective of age, and through the encrypted recipe book journal left to her by her mother, Framboise learns of the events from her mother s perspective and unravels the mystery that has haunted her and shaped her life.Somewhat dark at times, this complex story is layered with symbolism and has the ability to haunt you long after you have finished reading There are so many subtleties and nuances it would make a great book club read. Whew, this is a wrenching read It s excellent and 4.5 star, IMHO.The characters are not easily liked, very few are amiable, and the entire is both dramatically and emotionally tense And that tension is for its entire length and continued within personality and character far beyond the ending Because our narrator and others are never easy people Beyond the war and small town France location coupled with the scrumptious cooking and foodie directions, the real core of the story is the tightly coiled personalities of the youngest daughter and the Mother A type of personality with intense likes and dislikes and invincible quantities of what we would, in my old neighborhood, call moxie Of all the stories I have read upon WWII Resistance vs collaborators, this is the one that I would most probably pick as the most likely real true Strong willed people are quite like that as children The only aspect I found a slight bit off was Boise s age She was farlike 11 than 9 but perhaps we need to accept that aberration, as well I won t begin to shape this plot, nor onus of each character here All four family members, the farm, the German charmer, the relatives in the latter 20th century all of those were developed exquisitely in this book And putting the challenge of catching the big pike, Old Mother , as a pivot point to a climax was also masterful In fact, her style of reveal in two time periods was not perceived as shifting at all either It linked with same mutual mood, place or issue and just seemed seamless This is SO rare Often times that style method breaks the continuity of tension and progress, both This did not it was all of one piece tone and steady persistent pressure The sickness, the pure will of physical act, the desires for escape or to have what the heart demands they all burn bright in each and every page without diminishing.This is nearly a five star I ve never read this author and I sure will now Or at least search for her other works, if any It comes after reading several losers or abandoned in a row And it enthralled to such a degree that I have farenthusiasm now for researching for better fare shortly BTW, I have not read other reviews on this one And I know that the stalking her mother with that orange scent is most probably a big turn off and considered vile by most But working within clinical situations, it is exactly the kind of thorn used to nettle, even now That kind of behavior, in girls especially, is not all that obscure or noticeably rare Not at all And especially within girls who have no Father figure present or in strong memory Thank you for this recommendation GR friends, it was a superb one. Do you know, I have a much harder time writing a review for a book that I didn t particularly like than for one I really enjoyed I didn t particularly like Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris, but I am at a loss to explain why I can t point to egregiously bad writing, and while I didn t like any of the characters, that itself does not a bad book make See, e.g., my review of The Good Terrorist Puzzled by my reaction, I asked my mother what she thought a book needed in order to be a good book Plot, she said, and character development, and some kind of interior growth and change for the characters Maybe that s what this book is missing though the characters do seem unpleasantly well rounded, I didn t see much interior growth in the main character, Framboise, and none at all in the supporting characters I also felt that the author could have done so muchwith the the material she used for her story Ms Harris s book concerns, in part, the relationships between a young German soldier and some French children and their mother in occupied France during WWII Given the monstrosity of the Nazi regime, coupled with the fact that there were decent Germans and varying degrees of complicity in the Nazi monstrosity among Germans, I felt some kind of conflict in that arena was warranted I also thought she could have donewith the morality of forming relationships with the enemy Is it immoral, and if so, is morality in that context purely based on citizenship Is it moral, and if so, does that mean we should disregard citizenship not to mention the horrible war crimes of the Nazis Finally, I have a nit to pick There were some beautiful mouth watering descriptions of food that the characters cooked and ate, both during the war and some 40 years afterwards Was life in occupied France so easy that they could eat such wonderful food I ended up liking this book in the end, and would maybe have given it 4 stars, if large parts of it didn t drive me so nuts I just had a few problems with it I had a really hard time getting into it the real story didn t really start until 100 pages into it And I had a really hard time connecting to the characters in any sort of way The mom acts like she hates her children the whole book, and the children hate their mom And when people waste that much energy being mean and cruel to each other, it s hard for me to relate to them, although there are some redeeming qualities that helped me be able to appreciate the story line in the end. There is something a little unbalanced about this book and one gets that feeling from the start In fact, the title itself suggests a certain asymmetrical allure which is disconcerting five quarters of the orange suggests a lopsided business, perhaps but nonetheless a surfeit of something The too many quarters of the orange makes me uneasy and leaves me wondering how it will all fit back together again, once sliced In the end, the title presages its own problematic ending I loved Framboise the moment I met her because contrary to the lushness that her name suggests, she is quite a tough little nut to crack She is strong and wilful, disconcertingly honest and brave as a Spaniard Despite that she is the youngest, her siblings pale in comparison to her and indeed, they are written in as extras vapid little ghosts without much to them Framboise s dark strength is counter balanced by her mother s ephemeral nature For the most part, the mother suffers in a tormented hell in the curtained darkness of her room Her migraine headaches, brought on by the scent of oranges, keeps her absent from her own life and leaves her open to the doom that the children s mischief will eventually bring upon her.In a strange contradiction of her own nature, the mother is also a superb cook the delicious meals she prepares would make a voluptuary blush an irony, and an enigma How does one gather such fruits, quite literally when the rest of Europe is starving This rang something of a false note but perhaps the juxtaposition suggests that out of rotten fruit can spring the most wondrous delicacies Still Some of the writing falls into clich , at times, and I found some of the scenes to be improbable The evening at La Mauvaise Reputation, for instance, reads like the author may have had a bit of an eye on a movie script for Hollywood, as rife as it is with patter I did expect a somewhatcomplex ending, especially given the originality and strength of the majority of the book I asked myself can it really be that simple Can it really be that banal And then I started to wonder if the beauty wasn t in the simplicity after all Whatever some of its minor problems may be, every inch of this book rings with life The sights and scents and sounds of war torn France grip every corner of every page and I found myself turning the pages with the same relish as indulging in an epicure s meal I think I gained 5 lbs by reading this book, so hungry was I for the menu before me.After all is said and done I was sorely disappointed when I reached the final paragraph, because I knew there wouldn t be .