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Five Quarters of the Orange
 
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Five Quarters of the Orange [Audio Download]

by Joanne Harris (Author), Rula Lenska (Narrator)
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 3 hours
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Abridged
  • Publisher: Hodder Headline Limited
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 3 Aug 2006
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ8O66
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
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Product Description

When the widowed Framboise moves back to the village of Les Laveuses, where she grew up, she is pleased to discover that no-one recognises her. She soon forges a new life for herself there, and before long has established a profitable creperie.

All is going well, until her profiteering nephew realises that money can be made by publishing a collection of Framboise's increasingly popular recipes, left to her by her mother, a woman despised throughout the village. For the book to be a success, her true identity must be revealed, opening the flood gates to a past life and painful childhood memories.

©2001 Joanne Harris; (P)2001 Hodder & Stoughton Audiobooks

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly moving – occasionally tragic 7 Jan 2003
By Steve Burrow VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
'Five quarters of the orange' is a story of a childhood tragedy in wartime France, and the shadows it casts across the later life of the heroine Framboise Dartigen. Written so blandly the book appears dark and gloomy, but this is far from the case.
Wartime France is portrayed through the eyes of the nine year old Framboise who's unworldly insight into the German occupation is in sharp contrast to the more familiar resistance-focused found in history books. She lives a life of fishing and adventure against the backdrop of her mother's kitchen – a place of wonderful cuisine brought to life with great skill. What tragedy turns her into the lonely old women that she becomes is kept well concealed until late in the story, providing a suspense that forced me to keep turning pages to find the answer.
The nuance of the recipes that form a large feature of the book were lost on me, but I'm sure will appeal to those who know their kitchen better. For those, like me, who prefer a compelling and human story this novel is sure to deliver. A book to be savoured!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ever Joanne Harris 2 Mar 2007
Format:Paperback
I won't write about the storyline as there are enough reviews on here to satisfy anyone.

In my opinion this is simply the best book JH has ever written and I have read them all. It is thoroughly brilliant from beginning to end and it sits handsomely in my top 3 all time favourite books.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly good 6 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book is a must for all Joanne Harris fans. It is better than 'Blackberry Wine', better even than 'Chocolat'.
It will also come as a surprise to 'Chocolat' fans, who, like me, might open it up expecting another sugary-sweet charming village comedy. The novel begins in a similar manner, with Framboise, now an elderly woman, settling into a French village, her old hometown. But throughout the text are scattered seeds of unease and doubt, and as the narrative slowly unravels, the reader becomes aware that she is hiding her identity and an ugly past.
The story very cleverly intercuts between Framboise as an elderly lady, around 60, and as a child of 9 in wartime France. It is the childhood memories which become the most intriguing - Harris brilliantly captures the difficulties of childhood - 'the cruelty of childhood' - and the poignant way her relationship with her mother disintegrates into hate and destruction. As a contrast to this is a love-crush she develops on a German soldier, which becomes incredibly touching. It was a stroke of genius that Harris explores this with a heroine who is only 9 - caught awkwardly between childhood and adolsecense, uncertain of what her emotions are, unable to label her feelings as love, or to know whether she loves him as a man, a father-figure, a friend, an idol, or a mixture of them all.
I won't say anymore or it will spoil the book and the surprises it throws at you, but the narrative slowly sucks you (rather like the victims claimed by old Mother in the river) into deeper, darker and muddier waters, resulting in violence, death and tragedy. Even the redemptive ending cannot really take away the bitter taste in your mouth at the end...but nevertheless, a brilliant book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless 22 Mar 2007
Format:Paperback
Having read this book twice I love it with a passion, and think it the best of the 3 foody books (see also...Chocolat, Blackberry Wine). I envy the way Joanne Harris seems to write so flawlessly and can bring the sights and smells to life as if they were a separate character within her story. She has the happy knack of flitting backwards and forwards in time to bring us this tale of guilt and regret. No doubt I shall read it again at some point and for me this is the type of book that you can't bear to pass onto friends for fear of losing your copy.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but ghastly 4 May 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was introduced to Joanne Harris through Blackberry Wine which I thought was a wonderful novel, the sort that didn't leave my hand until I'd finished it. Five Quarters is a different kind of book entirely. The writing is still wonderful (even if you can have too much of a good thing with all that syrupy, sticky, sensual food imagery. I hope that Harris and Nigella Lawson never collaborate on a book!) but the character are a truly awful bunch and while I could raise sympathy for some of them, I couldn't like any of them and was very glad to say goodbye at the end of the book. The story itself moves through its stages like the slow, lazy, ominous stirrings of 'Old Mother' in the depths of the Loire. Boise is certainly not like any nine year old I have ever encountered. The way she behaves seems much older. Many authors stumble over portraying children with the correct nuances and psychology for their ages and Harris in my opinion definitely comes a cropper here. All that plotting and slyness with the orange peel smacks of adult subterfuge beyond the capability of a nine year old girl, even one mature enough to menstruate (very precocious indeed, especially 60 years ago and one of the elements that had me trying too hard to suspend my reader disbelief)
This is a disquieting, claustrophobic novel and although the ending is redemptive, the whole definitely left a nasty taste in the mouth of this reader!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious!! 30 April 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was the 1st Joanne Harris book, and I have to say I was absolutely addicted to her books. Have read all her books, and this one is even better than Blackberry Wine or Chcocolate. The word that comes to my mind to describe this book is "magical". Joanne Harris is a wonderful writer, at a point I could swear I almost felt the scent of that orange...

I can't wait for her next two books, due to next month and August!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Joanne Harris
This has got the lot.... Anything I say will be a spoiler, anyone who loves Harris's writing will love it, anyone who doesn't love Harris's writing - well, you're a lost cause.
Published 2 days ago by Erica Hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars what a book
Got hooked as soon as I downloaded it! would recommand it to everyone I know from young people to grandparents
Published 8 days ago by v
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Once again a book full of detail and atmosphere. As a Francophile I felt like I was there, the story both shocking and moving
Published 21 days ago by David Leivesley
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
Book club choice and not one that I enjoyed. Am not a lover of Joanne Harris's writing, find all her books too descriptive and long winded. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Joanne Harris
Well-written, unusual and interesting. An insight into a way of life we know little about - rural occupied France. Recommended.
Published 1 month ago by Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Chocolat.
The first Joanne Harris book I read was 'Chocolat'. Although much of this was well-written, I have to say I was disappointed after all the media hype. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. Julie Holt
4.0 out of 5 stars A good but hard read
I'm a great fan of Joanne Harris, having read most of her novels by now. I found this one slightly less compelling than the others and at times a bit of a hard read, hence only 4... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Shirley S
1.0 out of 5 stars Trite
Why does a farm house that does not have running water have a bathroom with a sink?

Like the attraction of this novel it's a puzzle to me.
Published 3 months ago by Michael Bolton
4.0 out of 5 stars The scent of orange
Five Quarters of the Orange

Five Quarters of the Orange is certainly one of those books you don't want to put down. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Minijax
2.0 out of 5 stars five quarters of an orange
could n#t get into the story at all,took far too long to find out why she wanted to go back .What was the significance of the truffle.
Published 3 months ago by edith bell
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