I have never read Harris’ more well-known novel Chocolat, but I think I should now because I truly loved this book. Here is my book review Five Quarters of the Orange by JoAnne Harris.
France During the War
The place is a tiny village on the Loire River in France during the German occupation in World War II. This is a place where a terrible tragedy occurs. Who is responsible for this terrible tragedy and how does it change the lives of so many people? This will unfold in the pages of Five Quarters of the Orange.
Framboise is nine years old the summer of the tragedy. A precocious but naive young girl, whose disdain for her mother leads her to create often cruel ways that put her sensitive mother to bed for days – allowing Framboise and her older siblings to run about the village unsupervised. Framboise summer goal is to catch the mysterious giant Loire River pike called Old Mother, but she unexpectedly finds herself developing a crush on a German soldier.
Framboise mother, Mirabelle Dartigen, is looked on by the villagers as “unusual” and perhaps even a witch for her odd behavior. Mirabelle keeps a scrapbook of recipes that also serves as somewhat of a journal and will play an important role in unraveling the events of that fateful summer.
The family is run out of the village at the end of the summer, but decades later Framboise returns. She hopes to lead a quiet life and not be recognized as the daughter of Mirabelle Dartigen. But her secret begins to unravel as she runs a small local creperie and her nephew and his wife go to great lengths to get their hands on the infamous recipe book.
This is a dark story about mothers and daughters. It is a book about being young and naive and living with our mistakes. This is a novel about food, family, and facing the past to have peace in the present. I enjoyed it very much. I hope you enjoyed my book review Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris.
*****Five stars for Five Quarters of the Orange
Read last week’s review of The Music of Bees
My current read About Grace
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