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Five Quarters Of The Orange
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Five Quarters Of The Orange

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  24,477 Ratings  ·  1,968 Reviews
Beyond the main street of Les Laveuses runs the Loire, smooth and brown as a sunning snake - but hiding a deadly undertow beneath its moving surface. This is where Framboise, a secretive widow named after a raspberry liqueur, plies her culinary trade at the crperie - and lets memory play strange games.

Into this world comes the threat of revelation as Framboise's nephew - a
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published 2001 by Doubleday
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Food In Book Titles
18th out of 203 books — 45 voters
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Food Fiction
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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 really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 22, 2008 Samantha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Urrgghh ! This was a tricky book for me, it didn't 'feel right' from quite early on, I felt like I was been forced down paths I didn't want to walk down, words written to make me think something I didn't want to, maybe I should have stopped then but I've read and loved 2 other Joanne Harris books so I carried on.
This was far more dark and nasty than the previous ones, I had difficulty relating to any of the characters or situations especially the very young Framboise feelings for the adult Nazi
Jan 07, 2016 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 c
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
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 crêperie. 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
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
Aug 13, 2008 Sheri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Filipe Miguel
Mar 07, 2015 Filipe Miguel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, drama
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
Dec 24, 2010 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 31, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Francophiles, WWII, psychological drama
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2014 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 14, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing
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.
Rosiemae Burton
Mar 29, 2016 Rosiemae Burton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
It is almost guaranteed for me that a Joanne Harris novel is going to be very well-written. She encorpoates social issues, different beliefs and food all into one and it is brilliant how she does so. However, this novel took a long while (about 100 or so pages) to really get going and I didn't like that there wasn't any clear indication on whether it was a flashback or current time. I loved Framboise as a narrator and I liked that I got to see a different side to wartime rather than the usual fi ...more
Feb 05, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Jun 24, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jess The Bookworm
Feb 16, 2016 Jess The Bookworm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story follows a young girl in a village in France during World War II as she deals with a difficult relationship with her mother and misadventures with her siblings and friends, ultimately leading to a tragedy which she must come to terms with later in life, as she returns home to start over.

The story is well-written, weaving childhood whimsy with the dark and dangerous. It did take me a while to get into, as the beginning is a little all over the place, but once I got into it, it was a pag
Aug 08, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 07, 2009 Anne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2008 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shelby *trains 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.
Jenny Sparrow
Jul 26, 2011 Jenny Sparrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mary Ann
May 29, 2016 Mary Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary Ann by: cameron
This is simply a lovely book. I took a bit more time with it than usual because the beautiful prose is dense and loaded with layers of meaning and emotions. The first-person narration alternates between that of a nine year old in 1942 Occupied France and the same woman in the same village fifty-four years later as she slowly discloses her long-held secrets. The change in the time frames sometimes occurs abruptly, mid-chapter, so the reader must pay attention. It helps if the reader can read Fren ...more
Oct 30, 2013 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dark, dank, depressing. Whatever enjoyment I got from this book (which wasn't much) was earned, not given. The most interesting parts of the book were undeveloped (why the mother's aversion to oranges? What happened to her?) if you're on the fence about whether to read.. Bag it.
"Η αγάπη δεν είναι κάνουλα να την κλείσεις ..." λέει σε ένα σημείο το βιβλίο και το αντιγράφω γιατί μου άρεσε.
Ένα ταξίδι στο χωριό Λα Βαλέζ, στις όχθες του Λίγηρα, γεμάτο αναμνήσεις που πονάνε μέχρι την τελική λύτρωση.
Η αφήγηση των χρόνων της γερμανικής κατοχής, του πρώτου έρωτα της ηρωίδας, η γνωριμία μας με τη σκληρή της μητέρα και ένα πλήθος γευστικών αναφορών, είτε μέσα είτε γύρω από ένα λεύκωμα που κληρονομεί, είναι τα κύρια συστατικά του γεύματος - βιβλίου της Τζόαν Χάρις.
Βιβλίο που διαβάζ
Linda Brunner
Feb 22, 2016 Linda Brunner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful compelling read about an idyllic seeming village in France but during the dark and dangerous days of WWII. A family takes center stage, one young daughter in particular.

Also, a revealing examination of the goings on of people who hate, who desire, who are flawed and are just typical human beings in a pressure cooker of war and oppression.

Almost like coming upon an accident along the roadside, I couldn't look away but was equally repulsed by many of the human behaviors. WWII has always
Jun 09, 2015 Theresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2-fiction
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
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
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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
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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.” 406 likes
“It's a feeling which tells me that any woman can be beautiful in the eyes of a man who loves her.” 59 likes
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