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, plies her culinary trade at the creperie - and lets her memory play strange games. As her nephew attempts to exploit the growing success of the country recipes Framboise has inherited from her mother, a woman remembered with contempt by the villagers, memories of a disturbed childhood during the German Occupation flood back, and expose a past full of betrayal, blackmail and lies.
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(198mm x 127mm x 25mm)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
With her lastest novel, Joanne Harris offers a rather more sinister concoction than her previous novels, Chocolat and Blackberry Wine. Her story and characters, however, are as absorbing and her prose as imaginative as we have come to expect from this gifted writer. Francoise Simon is a reserved widow who runs a creperie in the French village of Les Laveuses. But Francoise is hiding a dark and secret past. As Framboise Dartigen, she grew up in the village, and is haunted by a series of ugly events that took place in Las Laveuses under the German occupation when young Framboise and her siblings became captivated by a young German soldier. Amidst the tense atmosphere of occupied France, the soldier Tomas draws the children into an adult world of black marketeering, collaboration and betrayal they can barely understand. And the whole family pays dearly for their inexperience. Framboise's new identity is threatened when her scheming nephew tries to make money out of the priceless album of recipes left to her by her mother. This album, with her mother's handwritten codes squeezed between the culinary descriptions, also holds the answer to what really happened years before. Harris effortlessly switches between time periods as she reconstructs the fateful events that led to the Dartigens' expulsion from their home and Framboise's final reconciliation with her past. She skilfully evokes the unthinking cruelty of children and the difficult relationship between Framboise and her mother is cleverly drawn. Despite being her mother's favorite, Framboise goads her unloving mother, inducing her excruciating migraines with the oranges of the title. Always compelling and often moving, in Five Quarters of the Orange Harris has created an outstanding and memorable novel. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Joanne Harris
Joanne Harris is one of our best-loved and most versatile novelists. She first appeared on the scene with the bestselling Chocolat (made into an Oscar-nominated film with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp), which turned into the sensuous Lansquenet trilogy (with Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsieur le Cure). She has since written acclaimed novels in such diverse genres as fantasy based on Norse myth (Runemarks, Runelight, The Gospel of Loki), and the Malbry cycle of dark psychological thrillers (Gentlemen & Players, Blueeyedboy, and now Different Class). Born in Barnsley, of an English father and a French mother, she spent fifteen years as a teacher before (somewhat reluctantly) becoming a full-time writer. In 2013, she was awarded an MBE. She lives in Yorkshire, plays bass in a band first formed when she was sixteen, works in a shed in her garden, spends far too much time online and occasionally dreams of faking her own death and going to live in Hawaii.