Author: Kate Forsyth
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Publish Date: March 20, 2012
Source: HF Virtual Book Tours
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You love fairy tales.
- You love historical fiction.
- You like character driven novels.
From Goodreads.com: "An utterly captivating reinvention of the Rapunzel fairytale weaved together with the scandalous life of one of the tale's first tellers, Charlotte-Rose de la Force.
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. 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...
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, sixty-four years later. Called La Strega Bella, Selena is at the centre of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition, retaining her youth and beauty by the blood of young red-haired girls.
After Margherita's father steals a handful of parsley, wintercress and rapunzel from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off unless he and his wife give away their little red-haired girl. And so, when she turns seven, Margherita is locked away in a tower, her hair woven together with the locks of all the girls before her, growing to womanhood under the shadow of La Strega Bella, and dreaming of being rescued...
Three women, three lives, three stories, braided together to create a compelling story of desire, obsession, black magic and the redemptive power of love."
My Two Cents:
Oh, this book! I really, really liked it! Part historical fiction, part fairy tale retelling, "Bitter Greens" has a lot of things that I really love! Historical fiction is one of my very favorite genres (maybe you've noticed?). I also really love fairy tale retellings. It's so much fun to see a new spin on a beloved story. This book is a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale. It also tells the story of the woman credited with first writing the Rapunzel story and it tells the story behind the witch from the Rapunzel story.
I really loved the characters in this book. I find in a lot of books that tell stories about multiple characters, many times I really like the stories of one character more than others. In "Bitter Greens," I loved all of the stories of the characters. Each one is interesting in its own way. Forsyth really makes you care about all of the different characters. She even turns the witch, Selena, into a character that you can have some semblance of sympathy for by showing her back story.
I really liked the settings as well. Charlotte-Rose moves in and out of the royal courts of France. Her life isn't always good but I loved reading about her different dealings with the royals. France is one of my favorite places to read about! Margherita and Selena's stories both take place in Italy, which is amazing. I love, love, love reading about Italy. It truly is a magical place and the perfect setting for a fairy tale.
Unfortunately the book has not been released in the United States. This is the time where you get one of your friends overseas to get you this book! It's so good!
Bottom line: This book is a great historical fiction pick with a magical element!
Don't Forget to Follow the Rest of the Tour:
Monday, February 25
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry
Tuesday, February 26
Review at Historical Tapestry & The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Wednesday, February 27
Review at Read Write Reviews
Thursday, February 28
Guest Post at Read Write Reviews
Friday, March 1
Interview at Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
Monday, March 4
Review at One More Page…Diary of a Book Lover
Tuesday, March 5
Guest Post at One More Page…Diary of a Book Lover
Wednesday, March 6
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, March 7
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, March 8
Review at A Bookish Affair
Monday, March 11
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Tuesday, March 12
Review at The Little Reader Library
Wednesday, March 13
Review at Tiny Library
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, March 14
Review at The Broke and the Bookish
Friday, March 15
Review at The Worm Hole
Monday, March 18
Review at A Words Worth
Tuesday, March 19
Interview at A Words Worth
Wednesday, March 20
Review at Unabridged Chick
Review at Kincavel Korner
Thursday, March 21
Interview at Kincavel Korner
Friday, March 22
Review at The Calico Critic
Interview at Unabridged Chick