Book Wormy's Reviews > Five Quarters of the Orange

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
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really liked it
bookshelves: read-2017

Five Quarters of the Orange Joanne Harris
4 Stars

First a warning do not read this book if you are hungry as the descriptions of food will blow any good dieting intentions out of the water. Almost every page features food, whether its fruit collected on the farm, freshly made crepes for sale or a good old fashioned fish stew this book is brimming with deliciousness.

Now onto the story - the story is divided into two sections both told by Framboise Dartigen, in the present Framboise a widow has returned anonymously to her childhood home, a small farm on the outskirts of a small French village, she needs to remain anonymous as something in the past means that her entire family is hated by the villagers. Framboise opens her own Creperie and her food is soon attracting visitors from all over, with this success comes unwelcome attention and Framboise fears exposure.

In the past the year is 1942 and France is living under occupation, Germans have arrived in the village but Framboise is only 9 years old and doesn't understand the threat they are all living under, instead she is waging her own private war against a mother she doesn't understand and a mystical fish called old mother.

The story flits between past and present slowly revealing what it is that Framboise fears people discovering and also showing how destructive certain family relationships can be. As she looks back on the past Framboise begins to understand what made her mother behave the way she did and also to understand that she herself has become very like the mother she thought she despised. It also shows the different ways people experience love from the intense longing of childhood to the enduring friendships of older age.

The book starts out slowly and that was fine by me as it matched the pace of life on the farm getting things done based on seasons and learning that nature cannot be rushed, about halfway through it picked up speed as things start to unravel in the past and present and then I was completely hooked desperate to know how things would turn out.

This was an interesting take on life under the Germans and it showed things that happened that the reader can forgive because the principal players were children who really didn't understand what their actions meant.

A great read.
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Reading Progress

January 11, 2017 – Started Reading
January 11, 2017 – Shelved
January 14, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
January 14, 2017 – Finished Reading

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