- Audio Cassette
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (7 Mar. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1840324945
- ISBN-13: 978-1840324945
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 13.6 x 1.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,613,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Five Quarters of the Orange Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Unabridged
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Joanne Harris' sensational novel Five Quarters of the Orange revolves around a recipe book, continuing the theme of culinary intrigue begun in Chocolat and Blackberry Wine. Framboise, the middle-aged narrator, begins her story in Les Laveuses, on the banks of the Loire:
When my mother died she left the farm to my brother, Cassis, the fortune in the wine cellar to my sister, Reine-Claude, and to me, the youngest, her album and a two-litre jar containing a single black Perigord truffle.Framboise returns to the village where she grew up during wartime, and with the help of the recipes scribbled in her mother's album, opens up a small restaurant. However, she is desperate to keep her identity a secret even amongst the aged villagers with whom she played on the banks of the Loire in the years of German occupation during the Second World War. Framboise immerses herself once again in the peaceful rhythms of village life, pungently evoked by Harris's evocative prose. But slowly, reluctantly, Framboise begins to unravel the terrible wartime secret that drove her family away from the village. As she cuts between idyllic descriptions of the village and the increasingly dark memories of the war, Framboise admits:
I know, I know. You want me to get to the point. But this is at least as important as the rest, the method of telling, and the time taken to tell. It has taken me fifty-five to begin, at least let me do it in my own way.This could be a description of Harris's prose itself, as it slowly and deliberately cuts between Framboise's fragile present and her happy childhood, destroyed by the tragic innocence of youth. Although Five Quarters of the Orange finds Harris on familiar ground to Chocolat, this is a much darker and compelling novel of childhood nostalgia and betrayal, and the need to confront the tragedies of the past before they destroy the possibilities of a happier future. --Jerry Brotton --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Hardcover.
Mouthwatering...a celebration of pleasure, of love, of tolerance. Read it. (Observer on CHOCOLAT)
Sensuous and thought provoking...subtle and brilliant. (Daily Telegraph on CHOCOLAT)
If Joanne Harris didn't exist, someone would have to invent her. (Sunday Express on BLACKBERRY WINE)
Enchanting (Woman's Journal on BLACKBERRY WINE)
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent story; beautifully written, and gripping right up to the last page. Well worth reading.Published 4 months ago by Andy V
ghastly, I dind't get far into it at all. I generally love a well written war story, but this was so dreary. Read morePublished 4 months ago by ruralbuyer
I loved this book.I read it a few years back but can still remember how good it was. its probably the authors best book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sandra griffin
I thought this was better than Chocolat. The plot is complex, with lots of unexpected twists and turns, the characters are interesting and multi-dimensional, and the writing is -... Read morePublished 10 months ago by WeAreWhatWeRead
Sickely sweet, huge gapping holes in the plot and so obvious Nothing exciting - no twist - predictable - Ive tried 4 of her novels and only quite liked one of them. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Lynn Labrum-Harvey
Fabulous story and superb writing. I could not put it down and had to read it very slowly so as not to finish the book.Published 12 months ago by Mrs. Joyce Jones
Excellent. Multilayered. I thought the insights into the child's mind, intelligence, and mismatch of emotional needs, suppressed feelings was beautifully described. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Anna McKay
What a story! If you fancy a book with lots of intreague, depth and a kick at the end, then this is the one! You will not be disappointed!Published 14 months ago by L. Campion