Book Review: Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

Had you checked my review of Chocolat and its sequel The Lollipop ShoesIf not, click on the hyperlinks. Each was an amazing fantasy book with chocolate recipes weaved into the tale and I was so impressed with the writings of Joanne Harris, the author, that I had to give another book of hers a read. Now, this line I have just written you may find at contradiction with my review of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes where I did not feel like reading another book of the same author one after the other, but it so happened that I had read Five Quarters of the Orange a month back and forgot altogether about writing a review. I got reminded recently when a friend recommended me to read Joanne Harris books. But you know, a lot can happen in a month, your mind and heart can flip 180°.

So, about the book, it follows the same standard format of recipes (not chocolate this time) weaved in the storyline. However, I felt it was lacking in many fronts, especially the suspense of why the main protagonist has hidden her real name. In fact there were many questions I wanted answer of while reading the story, but of which the book did not conclude, e.g. what was it that led the main protagonist’s mother to fear orange. Probably it may not have resulted in fast forwarding the storyline, but I was assuming that there would be much more in the ending. Even the notes in the book is not leading to major disclosure (again I sort of expected this to happen). My bad, to have high expectations from a book or a person.

However, if you do not compare Chocolat and this book Five Quarters of the Orange, it is an “okay” book on its own. You can read it if are not able to find other better books.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
The novels of Joanne Harris are a literary feast for the senses. Five Quarters of the Orange represents Harris’s most complex and sophisticated work yet – a novel in which darkness and fierce joy come together to create an unforgettable story.

When Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous Mirabelle Dartigen – the woman they still hold responsible for a terrible tragedy that took place during the German occupation decades before. Although Framboise hopes for a new beginning she quickly discovers that past and present are inextricably intertwined. Nowhere is this truth more apparent than in the scrapbook of recipes she has inherited from her dead mother.

With this book, Framboise re-creates her mother’s dishes, which she serves in her small creperie. And yet as she studies the scrapbook – searching for clues to unlock the contradiction between her mother’s sensuous love of food and often cruel demeanor – she begins to recognize a deeper meaning behind Mirabelle’s cryptic scribbles. Within the journal’s tattered pages lies the key to what actually transpired the summer Framboise was nine years old.

Rich and dark. Five Quarters of the Orange is a novel of mothers and daughters of the past and the present, of resisting, and succumbing, and an extraordinary work by a masterful writer.

About the author:
Joanne Harris is a British author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre projects as well as developing an original drama for television.

In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.

Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as ‘mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion’. She also spends too much time on Twitter; plays flute and bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16; and works from a shed in her garden at her home in Yorkshire.

Website: joanne-harris.co.uk
Twitter: @Joannechocolat

Rating: 6/10
Genre: Historical Fiction
Book Name: Five Quarters of the Orange
Author: Joanne Harris
Pages: 307
Publication Year: 2001

About Alka

Trying to just make some sense out of things and put some sense into me!! :) :) :)

Posted on September 2, 2018, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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