Friday, January 14, 2011

Food for thought on "Five Quarters of the Orange"

1) brief, forceful, and meaningful in expression; full of vigor, substance, or meaning; terse; forcible: a pithy observation

2) of, like, or abounding in pith.

the soft fibrous tissue lining the inside of the rind in fruits such as the orange and grapefruit

This was a most fitting description because it is truly how I would describe this book. It was both forceful and full of substance. I thought the main character, Framboise, and her mother, Mirabelle, were wonderfully penned. They are so alike in their intensity and emotional confinement. In a way they were each others nemesis. They both needed understanding and compassion; they both felt alone.

I felt Mirabelle in particular was beautifully written. Seen through young Framboise's eyes you loathed her. She was harsh, demanding and unlovable. You think "There is no excuse, a mother should never treat her children that way!" And then you see the other side. Bit by bit, Joanne Harris ( the author) picks away the shell and you start to feel pity for a sad, suffering and troubled woman.

One of my favorite quotes:

"This sweetness

like some bright fruit
plum peach apricot
watermelon perhaps
from myself
this sweetness

It is a whimsical touch, which surprises and troubles me. That this stony and prosaic woman should in her secret moments harbor such thoughts. For she was sealed off from us-from everyone-with such fierceness that I had thought her incapable of yielding" Page 5

I thought it was so ironic that Framboise became what she loathed, her mother.

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