Thursday, January 6, 2011

Five Quarters of the Orange

A story of what could happen when there's.....selfish inclinations.....desire for attention....opportunity......

Joanne Harris wrote 'Five Quarters' from the perspective of Framboise at the age of 9 and 64. The young Framboise was clever and found a way to induce her mother's migraines. I didn't judge her for this- if she were my mother I might have too. Framboise described her as awakening with a mouth full of barbed wire and not a kind thought in her head. But Framboise was no cherub, in fact, her and her 2 siblings were little heathens who snitched on their neighbors to get lipstick, oranges, chewing gum, bars of chocolate and other unimportant things.
I don't want to give too much away about this book because unlike other books I actually hope you read this one. I will admit it starts off a bit slow but stick with it! Once I got into it I really wanted to know how it all played out. If you continue to follow our blog you'll learn I love to read but don't have a lot of time and so I struggle to finish some of the books. This was a quick read which was a BIG plus.
Joanne gives enough information about the characters so you can start to understand them, and in some ways relate, but doesn't overload you with details. You may be left with questions at the end, but as it was brought out in our book club discussion, it was from a 9 year olds point of view.
Lines I love:
" that moment I loved him completely and with a suddenness which startled away my rage."
"Hope scratched a thin silver trail across my heart."
"The feeling you get when a recipe turns out perfectly right...It's the feeling which tells me that any woman can be beautiful in the eyes of a man who loves her."
"Laure's eyes shot me with hate-shrapnel". (A phrase I'd like to use.)


  1. Hi! So where to start. First of all, I just want to say how much I LOVE the idea of a book club! I would love to start one of my own but most my friends are in yours. LOL Which is why I'm so very excited and thankful that you girls decided to start this blog. Now I can feel apart of the book club in my own little way. It's my goal to read all the books you girls suggest and I started with 5 Quarters of the Orange.
    It took my a few days to really dive into it. It took me like 3 days just to get through the first 30 pages but once I got past that I couldn't put it down. I read the last half of the book in literally one night. I loved how Framboise can make you hate her one second, then want to be her the next. But most of all I loved how you slowly draw closer to her throughout the book. I defiantly don’t envy her childhood but I look up to her for how brave she was and stubborn. It’s refreshing to me that at 9 years old she wasn’t afraid to fight for what she wanted and believed in even when it got her in all kinds of trouble.
    I also loved how she described everything around her so that you felt like you were there with her. (Although some parts of the book I thought dragged on a little too much in detail.) I could really picture the forest and the river where she played and fished and I especially liked picturing their little house and their kitchen. Wouldn’t we all have liked to be apart of some of the food she talked about?!
    Reading through the last half was defiantly an emotional roller coaster for me. It had moments of panic, grief, sadness, and love. I appreciate how Joanne Harris made me feel all of it along with Framboise. I defiantly wasn’t disappointed with the ending even though it was quite tragic. And lastly, I have to say my favorite surprise of all would have to be Paul. By the end of the book I just wanted to hug him. I love how Framboise found romance (or I guess how it found her) in the end. I like happy endings even though I don’t even know if I could really call the ending happy. But it made me feel hopeful if anything.
    Anyways, I hope that’s not too long. I want to thank you again for making this blog and letting others be apart of your book club. I can’t wait to read more!

    Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
    -“That was how it was. This is where I belong. The years with Herve’ seem almost a blank now, like the strange calm patches you sometimes get in a stormy sea, a moment of waiting, of forgetfulness. But I never really forgot Les Laveuses. Not for a moment. Something in me was always here.”
    -”The rush of feeling that came in the wake of the thought was so intense that for a moment I was unable to identify it. A bright comet’s tail of sensation, prickling at my armpits and flipping my stomach like a pancake. Terror, grief, confusion…I looked for them inside myself and found no trace of them. Instead, a burst of poison fireworks that filled my head with light.”
    -”When I looked for sorrow I found only a hard place inside myself, like a stone in a fruit.”
    -”Instead I hugged my secret close, turning it over in my mind like a stolen treasure.”
    -”…her smiles and frowns where the vane upon which our emotional weather turned.”
    -”It took a little time but I got over it. I let go. It’s like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home.” *(My favorite!)

  2. Welcome to the online book club Jessica!! We are so happy you are a part of it.

    You had two of my other favorite quotes in your collection, the one on "a hard place inside myself, like a stone in a fruit" and "turning it over in my mind like a stolen treasure". I thought these were great word pictures.

    Please keep posting, we love to hear your thoughts!