Book Review: Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

I just finished reading this book about five minutes ago. So while it is fresh in my mind, I will be able to remember all of the details, but I have not given myself time to really ruminate on it much. I do think that it will be a book that will stay with me for a while though.

Five Quarters of the Orange is written by Joanne Harris, who you may recognize by her other popular book, Chocolat. The book is told by an old French woman who returns to the village of her childhood. She has inherited her mother's old scrapbook that is full of recipes, memories, and secrets. As Framboise rebuilds the old farmhouse and starts a little restaurant, she recounts her past. She lived in the farmhouse during the German occupation of WWII. She was nine at the time, but remembers quite clearly the events that led up to her family having to leave the village in disgrace.

I was easily pulled into this story. The characters were well thought out and the storytelling was marvelous. I loved all of the mention of food, even though I'm not familiar with French cuisine. Beware when reading this book. It merrily floats along, keeping you interested the whole time, but it does turn a bit dark. It is a book about family struggles during war, so some of it is not pretty.

My Rating

Overall: 4.5 stars

Objectionable Content: Adult themes, and a fair amount of swearing.


Melissa August 22, 2010 at 10:35 PM  

Thanks for the suggestion, my husband bought it for me for our anniversary, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. And I totally agree with your assessment that it turns a little dark.

Katie August 25, 2010 at 3:18 PM  

This book was recommended to me by my high school English teacher about 5 years ago. I couldn't put it down and loved that it had some substance and was an engaging read!

Sheree August 27, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

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Morgan October 11, 2010 at 10:04 PM  

I don't know if it's just on my computer, but on the first post of the page, the first little bit is covered by the saying "a cozy place to discover and discuss books". It would be much appreciated if I could see the beginning of the posts so one, I can see what book it is and two, I can read all you have to say about them :) I do enjoy your blog and that you review books of interest to all ages.

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