Posted by: greenapplesmmm | November 28, 2011

What is domestic happiness?

Have you read Good Night, Mr.Tom, or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? Did you enjoy it? If so, you will like this book written by the same author of Chocolat.

 The story is told by Framboise Simons, an elderly woman who opens a small creperie in a little French village. Framboise left the village because of a dramatic past and by settling down where she used to live in her childhood, she recalls her memories and relates them to her new life as well as discovering new aspects of her mother who left Framboise with her recipe book when she died.

 This novel is set during World War II and it replicates how children were forced to grow up, and how they had to live with insecurity. In this book the Germans are in charge of the little village and the neighboring areas and so there are hints of violence and the effects of war can also be experienced by reading it.

As well as the effects of war, Five Quarters of the Orange also focuses on human relationship issues and isolation within small communities. Framboise’s mother was dealing with psychological struggles and was isolated from the village community so as a child, she didn’t have many people to play or hang around with. As for her older siblings, they used to invent games and venture around the countryside with her but because the age gap is quite big, so when they started to go to secondary school they gradually stop paying attention to her.  

 I think that Five Quarters of the Orange taught makes the reader think about values in life and the reality of human nature. Also, because the narrator is looking back to her childhood, it gives a critical view of the event and sophisticated analysis of feelings of characters, which the narrator understands more in hindsight.

 I will definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about communities in countryside and who wants realistic drama in a small place, set in the war times. Joanne Harris is one of many adroit authors and is able to hook the reader. It is not a particularly difficult novel to read and I think that everybody can enjoy it.


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