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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 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 anonym 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 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 readthan 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 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 readthan 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 mother in occupied France The only peaceful time that is shared by mother and child is while cooking.I have found that many people do not like stories of difficulty between children and parents Either the readers want to escape, or they have no basis of comparison.Each book that tells a story of this kind has been attractive to me I often see hope where others only see darkness These children are survivors Their spirits are not broken even though the relationships with their parents are nearly completely destroyed.This book is no different The main character comes to realize the humanity of her mother after returning to her homestead long after her mother dies and opens a cafe She finds that she has much in common with her mother and accepts the part of her that is so much like her mother.Not only does this book find the hope in a difficult and unsettling relationship, it has amazing food references Lovely images of mouth watering dishes Overall a very good read, and I may just read it again 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 y 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 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 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