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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
From Joanne Harris, the author of Chocolat, comes another highly palatable saga of complex human relationships and the sometimes twisted vagaries of love. In Five Quarters of the Orange, Harris tells a haunting story of dark secrets and bitter tragedy in a tale that simmers its way to a roiling boil.
Sixty-three-year-old Framboise Dartigen returns incognito to the tiny French village where she lived as a child, in order to confront a horrific tragedy that occurred 55 years earlier during the German occupation -- a tragedy that implicated her family and still haunts the town to this day. Back then, while her widowed mother struggled to make a living from her fruit farm, Framboise and her siblings befriended a German soldier who provided them with treats in exchange for tidbits of information. Then a seemingly innocent series of events snowballed into a horrifying tragedy -- the truth of which is hidden (mingled with hundreds of family recipes) in a scrapbook her mother has bequeathed to her. Now, as that truth is about to surface, Framboise must expose painful family secrets and face the facts of her own complicity.
Harris digs deep into the complex fabric of family relationships, deftly contrasting the innocence of a young girl’s dreams with her capability for cruelty. This tantalizing mix of intrigue and betrayal makes for a sensual and sumptuous literary feast. (Beth Amos)