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Five Quarters of the Orange
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Five Quarters of the Orange

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  22,239 ratings  ·  1,795 reviews

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 story.

When Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the in

Paperback, 307 pages
Published June 4th 2002 by Harper Perennial (first published April 2nd 2000)
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The Help by Kathryn StockettWater for Elephants by Sara GruenThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Best for Book Clubs
173rd out of 3,795 books — 9,572 voters
Chocolat by Joanne HarrisLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Food-Related Fiction
9th out of 394 books — 476 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I first read this book some time ago. When I read it, I throughly enjoyed it. This year, I found my mind going back to the book several times and decided I needed to read it again.

There are only two books (other than the Harry Potter Series) that I have read more than once - Cold Mountain, and now this book. While reading this book for the second time, I wondered at length, what is drawing me back to this book.

The story is a dark story of a child growing up with a very difficult, unpredictable m
Jan 27, 2014 Dem rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dem by: Janice
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 Rating

Set 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 y
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 orchar ...more
Jul 22, 2008 Samantha rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Samantha by: Kasey Dorris
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 ot ...more
Under the shroud of a new identity an aging woman returns to her childhood town. She opens a café 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
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 g
Filipe Miguel
Joanne Harris, sal no ponto

Joanne Harris é, na sua essência, exactamente o que este livro oferece: narrativa de ritmo pausado, polvilhada de conteúdo habilmente exposto, montagem engenhosa de argumento e… descrições quase palpáveis de comidas, bebidas, cheiros e sabores.

Neste “Cinco Quartos de Laranja”, na primeira pessoa, por Framboise Dartigen, acompanhamos uma estória com frequentes flashbacks de um passado de guerra, de importância crucial para entender o presente.

Harris domina a arte do “le
I don't really know what to say about this book. I don't know if I just wasn't really into it when I started it, or if I really didn't like it as much as I thought. It took me over 100 pages to really get into the story, and I had sort of written it off by then. But then things picked up, and the last, maybe, quarter of the book finally got good. While you are reading, you know that "something happened" and that you will eventually find out. It was frustrating to me that she gave so little infor ...more
I found this at my grandparents house on a trip when I hadn't brought anything to read. I finished it all too quickly, scarfing it down like an orange at Christmas time.

"Five Quarters of the Orange" is told from the perspective of Framboise both looking back at the past and recounting current events as an older woman, and telling "present" events as a child. Framboise and her family live in a small French village during the German occupation. The father was killed early in the war by a German, b
I really, really enjoyed the Chocolat trilogy but was rather disappointed with this one. Like Chocolat, at the heart of this book is the relationship between a mother and her daughter with very much a foody theme running through it. Framboise and her family grew up in a small village on the banks of the Loire in France but left suddenly after events during WWII. Years later, Framboise, now widowed, returns to her old home, keeping her identify a secret for fear of reprisals for what, for most of ...more
Mar 31, 2008 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Francophiles, WWII, psychological drama
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There is something a little unbalanced about this book -- and one gets that feeling from the first words in the first chapter. In fact, the title itself suggests a certain asymmetrical allure which is disconcerting: the five quarters of the orange, suggesting 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 ...more
I started off enjoying this book. And then my enjoyment faded. The two things that stood out in my mind that I did not care for were this:
1) The story is narrated by a woman, 1/2 of the time when she was 9 and the other half when she was an adult. Her narattion as a child was annoying - she was manipultive towards her mom to the point of cruelty, and she had a negative "know-it-all" attitude towards her older siblings. Newscast kid, you're only 9, stop talking and acting like you're an independe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2008 Amanda rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
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Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
This book turned out much better than I thought it would. It took along time for the story to start. I loved all the food talk though. I could actually end up smelling oranges.
Aug 08, 2007 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in culinary appearances in literature or looking for a slow, downer summer read
Shelves: great-story
This book seriously dragged me right along to an inevitable (and dark) conclusion. I kept toggling between enjoying her writing style, loads of unique description and a nice layer of old memories and new experiences for the main character, and being sort of shocked and horrified by the absolute coldness of most of the characters in the story. It was an interesting book, but I had a hard time absorbing myself in it(which is what I've been looking for lately).

Perhaps the other drawback (and major
What a terrific novel. It starts off like a liqueur chocolate: when you first pop it in your mouth, you are not quite sure what it will taste like. Then the further you go, the secret of the interior starts to reveal itself slowly until you are totally absorbed in its content. Couldn't put it down - a simple interwoven story, told beautifully. A must-read.
Kate Z
I read this book as part of the "Food Glorious Food" January challenge. It also fulfilled one of my personal goals for 2012 to read books that have been sitting on my shelf.

Normally I don't love books that have strained/negative relationships between mothers and daughters but even though that tension provides the framework for this story, the real story is that of a French farm family during WW2 at the time of the German occupation.

A while back I read and really enjoyed Winter Garden - another
Jenny Sparrow
Я, наверное, не смогу многого сказать о романе Дж.Харрис "Пять четвертинок апельсина". Если чуть перефразировать цитату с обложки, получится точно мое восприятие её: "Эта книга Харрис - острая, с горчинкой". И те апельсины, с которыми она связана лично для меня - это сорт кюрасао - горькие, пряные, дикие.

Именно такой предстает перед нами Фрамбуаз, главная героиня, от лица которой ведется повествование. На сей раз форма романа немного изменилась - всю историю нам рассказывает один человек, но соб
What I liked about this book: the main character is richly drawn, and I especially enjoyed seeing her at different stages of life. There's also a momentum to the story that keeps you reading, wanting to know just what will happen next (and what really did happen way back in the past). The setting is fabulous -- especially for anyone who studied French in high school and dreams of extended travels in the Loire Valley. And of course the food talk. Yummmmm....

What I didn't like about this book: I t
When Harris includes a food or drink in her title, you know that the epicurean side of her story will be as important as any character or event. In this book, a story of a woman coming back to the abandoned family homestead, hoping to make a place for herself as someone different than the girl who left the place, her mother's recipe book actually is the plot. Secrets are uncovered not only between the recipes, but inside the body of the recipes. But it's not until she begins to reconnect with he ...more
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 creperie. Again, food plays a central part in the story. But this is a much darker story altogether, and a much more satisfying 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 anonym

Another engrossing read from Joanne Harris which although similar to ‘Chocolat ‘and ‘Blackberry Wine’ it is a much darker story. Once again set in France this time a small village ‘Les Laveuses’ near Angers on the banks of the Loire, during WWII and the present day.
The protagonist is Framboise Dartigen who has returned to the village after a long absence to live in the farmhouse of her childhood. Her mother Mirabelle Dartigen has since died and part of Fra
If you like to read about food, then you will like this book. It's about an older French woman named Framboise who after inheriting her misunderstood mother's journal/recipe book, returns to her childhood farm and in the course of restoring the farm and cooking her mother's recipes, recalls the summer when she was nine and German soldiers were occupying her rural village during WWII. It's an intriguing story about Framboise's complicated relationship with her mother and the devastating result of ...more
I really liked the story as it unfolded through a series of back flashes to the past and through the notations in the scrapbook/cookbook/diary entries that the mother wrote.

It was a painful story of growing up in a small village in France during WWII and how the daughter came back to her child hood home and tried to start over with a small eaterie as an older, single adult woman. It was about her struggle trying to resolve the conflicts and lies that had driven the family away and her trying to
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is set in France and has a dual time period; the present, and the 1940's.

Framboise's story as a nine year old girl growing up in a small village of Les Lavueses during WW2 France is told alternately with her story as a sixty-four year old widow, "Francoise", who returns to the village of her childhood, where she starts a small cafe-type restaurant using the album of recipes her mother left to her.

And that is when things get complicated. Her small restaurant becomes so successful that
This was just such a wonderful book to read. Harris’ writing is so wonderfully descriptive. In just a few sentences she takes me directly to the village of Les Laveuses on the Loire. She’s able to cast a mood so precisely, that reading this book is much more like living it. The tastes and smells of a big part of this novel. It makes me want to go and cook, to bake, to fill my own kitchen with culinary delights.

The story itself is complex. Framboise Dartigen has a secret from
Framboise Dartigen has returned to Les Laveuses, a fictional village located in western France on the Loire River, under the assumed name of François Simon. She has purchased her mother's abandoned farm and opened a restaurant known as the Crêpe Framboise. She, her two older siblings and her mother were last in this village when she was nine years old. It was the year that she became infatuated with a young German soldier stationed in occupied France and caught the elusive river pike, Old Mother ...more
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You'll love this ...: May 2013 - Five Quarters of the Orange 66 75 Jun 05, 2013 01:32AM  
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Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre pr ...more
More about Joanne Harris...

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“I let it go. It's like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home.” 380 likes
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