Wow!! This book did not turn out the way I thought it would. A small girl lives in a french town during WWII. It goes back and forth between then and now. She tells the story through the use of food, and describes each moment with such reality that I could see and feel it all. I could not put it down!!
This was an OK read. I give it just an "OK" because I think I was more taken with her descriptions than with the story itself. Read the passage below to see what I mean. Great wording!
"I must have been born confrontational, but that summer I grew more so than I had ever been. My mother and I stalked each other like cats staking out their territory. Every touch was a spark that hissed static. Every word was a potential insult, every conversation a minefield."
Incredible - the story draws you deeply into the characters' lives; Told from the perspective of one woman, alternating between young child and older woman, Harris infuses every line with the emotion, fear, anger and confusion of a girl comming of age during a dangerous time.
I loved this book. Very satisfying story about mother and daughter, tragedy, revenge, suspicion, and love. As a review on book says, "better not read this on an empty stomach" "You will be treated to the tastes and smells of French food. Olive oil, fresh rosemary, ripe sheese, wild mushrooms and herb and apple sausages."
I really enjoyed this book...told from the point of view of Framboise, a woman who moves back to the village in France where she grew up during the German occupation...lots of intrigue as to what she, her siblings, and mother experienced...by the author of Chocolat...highly recommend it! -Mirah W.
This book really captures a sense of "place" (small village in the French countryside during Nazi occupation) with wonderful, detailed descriptions. The characters are unique (very French, I'll leave it at that) and the story is fascinating and surprising. Oh, and the food sounds fabulous and really contributes to the emotion of the story.
This book is about a woman in france, who is trying to reconcile her childhood experiences during WWII. As a child, her brothers and sisters became friends with a german soldier, who was providing them gifts in exchange for information. The book is not evil, or violent. The soldier is also quite young, and just trying to survive his situation. The book's plot goes in two different directions: the girl's relationship with her mother, and her coming to grips with the whole experience as an adult. the author's style is very readable. She describes the scene well, but not to the point that it is boring. if you are interested in france, or in cooking, these do have something to do with the plot. the characters in the book are interesting, and real. i think you would enjoy this book. it is not a non stop, page turner, but it is interesting.
Kerstin S. reviewed Five Quarters of the Orange on
Helpful Score: 1
This book kind of snuck up on me and I found myself enjoying this more that I imagined. Compelling characters, suspenseful plot, poignant and lyrical language. This story takes the immense events of WWII and isolates them to a very everyday level. It left me wondering how many quiet stories there are like this one in the wake of those global events and the lasting repercussions of seemingly innocent and innocuous acts.
This is one of those books that I hated to end. I want to know what happened next. The narrative is disjointed, but I didn't feel that it got in the way of the story. It is written just like an older woman might tell her 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 woman they hold responsible for a tragedy during the German occupation years ago. But the past and present are inextricable entwined, particularly in a scrapbook of recipes and memories that Framboise has inherited from her mother. And soon Framboise will realize that the journal also contains the key to the tragedy that indelibly marked that summer of her ninth year.
This is another great family history told from the memories of the main character. The backdrop is WWII France: local town invaded by the Germans and how it impacts all the town's residents, especially the children of this one family. It's intriguing, filled with secrets and a few subplots regarding growing up and coming into one's own self. It is rich with suffering, denial, rewriting history, keeping secrets and putting your chin up and facing the world, however many deceptions required. It is also filled with sweet moments and dramatic "aha!" revelations. Good book. Short enough to read in a weekend but you may want to stretch it out just to enjoy it a little longer.
A beautifully embroidered story of a woman who moves back to the village of her childhood after fleeing years before in utter disgrace with her mother and siblings. Through flashbacks, we learn the history of Framboise's family, their connection with the German occupation, their own family's inner turmoil, and childhood mistakes with dire consequences. I have great admiration for Joanne Harris' ability to paint such compelling relationships and characters. I feel that I know this family intimately.
I enjoyed the story and found myself interested in the characters. I felt a little disappointed by the ending. I guess I wanted more payback for the antagonists. I admit, that wasn't really the way of the book.
Another great book by Joanne Harris, perhaps one of the best! Harris' writing will grab your senses; from darkness, joy, sadness & will have the reader questioning. Remnants of a diary are found by Framboise: her mother writes eerily/crazily, but at the same time great recipes. Framboise's family experiences during WWII, a drug-addicted mother. Framboise's running a 'creperie', Tomas the German soldier; Reinette and Cassis - Framboisse's siblings, their mother's craziness while growing up; - all will keep the reader captivated. Read to learn some answers about her mother's craziness, other details found within the diary... An excellent read!
As much as I usually like Joanne Harris's writing, this was a book I simply couldn't get into. I loved the tantalizing descriptions of the food, woven into the very fabric of the people's lives, but I didn't care at all about the characters themselves, and found the constant switching between past and present confusing rather than enlightening.
A very compelling book. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but then it really drew me in. This is a book that really appeals to the senses. I did not see forsee how the story would end until I got there.
Beyond the main street of Les Laveuses runs the Loire, smooth and brown as a sunning snake - but hiding a deadly undertow beneath its moving surface. This is where Framboise, a secretive widow named after a raspberry liqueur, plies her culinary trade at the creperie - and lets her memory play strange games.
Into this world comes the threat of revelation as Framboise's nephew - a profiteering Parisian - attempts to exploit the growing success of the country recipes she has inherited from her mother, a woman remembered with contempt by the villagers of Les Laveuses. As the spilt blood of a tragic wartime childhood flows again, exposure beckons for Framboises, the widow with an invented past.
"The craftsmanship and emotional power of this novel...place Ms. Harris in the forefront of women writers." Richmond Times
The daughter of an infamous woman responsible for a tragedy during the German occupation returns anonymously to the small French village in which she was raised. The past and present are interwoven as the story unravels with surprising turns as her children are seduced into aiding the Germans in what to them is an almost innocent game with little thought of the dangers they are creating for everyone, especially the French Resistance.
This book, for me, was a bit anticlimactic. I was very compelled by the story for about a 1/3 of it but after the traumatic episode towards the end I just lost interest and couldn't connect and I did not finish it. Lots of interesting potential and information about WWII in France and seizure disorders.
A little slow to get going, but soon blossoms into an engrossing tale about mystery, revenge, love, hatred and war. I was impressed with the writing and reading about the food Mirabelle cooked made me hungry!
A great companion book! The Author offers a well organized presentation of the sequence of events during WWII. The town, the people, the children, and the German soldiers interact in a survival mode in this small town in France.
There is a intriguing theme of French cooking with Mother's journal in twined with family recipes.
Sibling rivalry and childhood antics are mini pulsates by the solders as the take advantage of the villages vulnerable widows, children, and the. Limited supply of luxuries.
This well written novel is a journey through a family and the next generation, the children,
and the effects of deprivation, loneliness, becoming of age, and greed.i