Five Quarters of the Orange

Five Quarters of the Orange

3.83 (26,666 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Product details

  • Paperback | 376 pages
  • AudioGO Limited
  • Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C
  • Bath, United Kingdom
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type edition
  • 0754024520
  • 9780754024521

Review Text

With her lastest novel, Joanne Harris offers a rather more sinister concoction than her previous novels, Chocolat and Blackberry Wine. Her story and characters, however, are as absorbing and her prose as imaginative as we have come to expect from this gifted writer. Francoise Simon is a reserved widow who runs a creperie in the French village of Les Laveuses. But Francoise is hiding a dark and secret past. As Framboise Dartigen, she grew up in the village, and is haunted by a series of ugly events that took place in Las Laveuses under the German occupation when young Framboise and her siblings became captivated by a young German soldier. Amidst the tense atmosphere of occupied France, the soldier Tomas draws the children into an adult world of black marketeering, collaboration and betrayal they can barely understand. And the whole family pays dearly for their inexperience. Framboise's new identity is threatened when her scheming nephew tries to make money out of the priceless album of recipes left to her by her mother. This album, with her mother's handwritten codes squeezed between the culinary descriptions, also holds the answer to what really happened years before. Harris effortlessly switches between time periods as she reconstructs the fateful events that led to the Dartigens' expulsion from their home and Framboise's final reconciliation with her past. She skilfully evokes the unthinking cruelty of children and the difficult relationship between Framboise and her mother is cleverly drawn. Despite being her mother's favorite, Framboise goads her unloving mother, inducing her excruciating migraines with the oranges of the title. Always compelling and often moving, in Five Quarters of the Orange Harris has created an outstanding and memorable novel. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

26,666 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 25% (6,541)
4 42% (11,265)
3 26% (7,032)
2 6% (1,497)
1 1% (331)
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