Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
Published on September 23rd, 2014
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The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in this breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love.
French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens…
After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.
Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.
Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.
Do you like Historical Fiction? Fantasy? Fairy Tales? Suspense? Romance? Intrigue? Good reads?
Then you’re in the right place.
Bitter Greens is a Historical Fantasy story that is a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale. Throughout the story, we follow the paths of 3 different women, who are each seeking love: the love of a parent, the love of a partner, or the innocence of companionship. Each of their journeys were different, but yet each were equally compelling, in their own way.
As you read this book, you’ll find that the story will flash back, and flash forward often– but once you get used to the writing style, the words will leap right off the page. Kate Forsyth’s writing was superb, and I had a hard time putting this book down once I started. Being a huge history buff, I loved getting a glimpse into the past through the eyes of Charlotte-Rose, Seraphina, and Margherita. Their stories read genuine, and I was captivated to keep reading more.With each hardship, each heart-ache, and each triumph the women experienced, I became more and more enthralled. I loved the spin on Rapunzel, and I’d get giddy every time the story would wind back toward to that tale. I’d cling to some of the elements that were familiar to me, and I’d be mesmerized by the new components that I had not ever heard of before. Everything just fit together, and in the end, I was convinced that it was real. (Which is just as it was for me “back in the day” when I’d have the fairy tales told to me by my father at bedtime as a child. I LOVE THAT!)
This book was absolutely stunning. From the cover, to the content: utterly brilliant. It had that magical fairy tale feel to it, which I absolutely adored. This book was such a breath of fresh air for me, and it sets itself apart from all other books in this genre.
Though this was the first book that I’ve read by Kate Forsyth, I have a feeling that it won’t be the last.
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