So, I've just finished reading Five quarters of the orange by Joanne Harris, first published in 2001 by Doubleday. What do I have to say about it? First of all, the translation was not so good. Which is something you really wouldn't care about, unless you're reading it in Italian. But, well, so I did, therefore I care. But aside from that, it's been an intense and strong reading.
Tha main character is Framboise, a 65 years old woman who runs an old fashioned restaurant in the middle of a French village. She is harsh and reticent and at the same time, terribly frail, prisoner of a secret she's been keeping since she was only a child. Her mother was accused, during the German occupation, of being responsible for the massacre of several fellow citizen, for she had killed a german soldier. She escaped with her three children – Cassis, Reine-Claude and Framboise – and no-one knew what had become of them. But after the death of her husband, Framboise turns back to the village that saw her mother blamed. She doesn't even know why, but it's like she held her inner desire of returning home for all her life, until she couldn't bear it anymore. And she did turn back, carefully hiding her identity and mingling with the unawaer pupulation. No-one could recognise her and no-one suspected. But then, something happened.
This is a wonderfully conceived book. The narration of Framboise's childood perfectly links with her present. I love strong, well-constructed female characters. And of course I adore Framboise. If you read about her, believe me, you will love her as much as I do.
Joanne Harris, for those who don't know, is the author of the incredibly successful and marvellous novel Chocolat. And many other masterpieces such as Blackberry Wine, which I highly recommend you to read.