Monday, October 7, 2013

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

Peeling Away Past Memories 
(Mother Recommended Week)

I get my love of reading from my mother.  For as long as I can remember, she always had a book in her hand.  My father read, too, but he mainly stuck to magazines, and while my mother read both, it's the books she got lost in.  She found herself immersed in other lives, different countries, and time periods, outrageous dilemmas, discoveries, mysteries, adventures, great loves, and tragic losses.  To me, she was like the Pied Piper of reading.  I wanted to follow her into the world of books, to see what she saw. Like her, I wanted to become a voyeur and peek into other people's desires, to read their minds, and follow their paths. She gave me the joy of reading, an unbelievable gift that just keeps giving.

As my mother continues to whip through books, she keeps me informed as to the ones that really strike a chord with her, books she recommends.  Five Quarters of the Orange is one of them.  She thought I might like it, and she was right.

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris is a book that hooked me from the beginning.  The story has a nice cadence to it, a pace that moves it along.  The narrator is an older woman looking back on her life with her cold, harsh mother, her brother, and sister.  Framboise, now in her sixties, lured me along with the setting of a small French town during the German occupation of WWII.  She teased me with the mystery that surrounded her mother. What happened to make her mother so hated in the village that Framboise is afraid to reveal who she really is after so many decades away?  Who was Tomas Leibnitz, and what role did he play in the horrors of the past? And what’s an orange got to do with all this?  Those questions kept me turning page after page, to hear Framboise slowly reveal the tragic events of the past and how they intertwine with the conflicts she faces in her later years.  Good book.

Don't miss other "Mother" selections featured later this week!

Happy reading,


What did you think of this book? Post a comment or email:


  1. Well I can't wait to read this selection! As always Mother Knows Best.... it's true!! Looking forward to this book. :)

  2. I definitely preferred "Five Quarters of the Orange" to "Chocolat" although my favourite Joanne Harris book is probably "Coastliners".

    Looking foward to seeing how you like her books.

    Marianne from Let's Read

    1. I did not read "Chocolat" though I did enjoy the movie. I have read "Gentlemen and Players" by Joanne Harris which I really liked. It's very different than "Five Quarters" and "Chocolat" first of all because it's set in England, not France, in a grammar school where odd things are happening. Good book with a twist. It did have a lot of characters to keep track of, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. Also exciting is the fact that Joanne Harris actually made her way to little Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and held a reading at a small gift shop. Nice to actually meet the author and get an autographed copy of her book! Again, thanks for the comment, Marianne. I will have to check out "Coastliners."

    2. I had not even heard of "Gentlemen and Players", will have to check into that, thank you.

      I did enjoy "Chocolat" as a movie, it was made so nicely, one of the very few movies I prefered over the book. I know I've said that before and if I mentioned it to you, I'm sorry for the repetition.

      Have a nice weekend,

      Marianne from Let's Read

  3. I've read Joanne Harris' food trilogy, and Five Quarters of the Orange is the best~