Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth Blog Tour

Thank you for joining me on my stop of the The Bitter Greens Blog Tour! If fairy tales and historical fiction are your thing, then check out my review and then take a look at the book.

Publication:September 23, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: The Publisher on behalf of this book tour

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.

When I first started reading Bitter Greens I thought I was going to be immediately thrust into Rapunzel’s world. But instead I was greeted by Charlotte-Rose de la Force who has just been banished (unjustly in her mind) by King Louis XIV and is being sent to a convent.  Once there she meets a nun who tells her the story of Margherita aka Rapunzel. This is such a unique story. I was never aware of the whole story involving Rapunzel, so I was going into this partially blind. But either way, I thought it was a very unique and entertaining story.

There was a little bit of going back and forth between the different characters and the time periods which took a little bit of getting used to. I did like learning more about Charlotte’s life as much as I was interested in Margherita’s. And as an added bonus, I was able to get some insight into the evil lady in this classic story...the witch. The author shows us what her life was like and how she ended up the way she was.  It seemed like the author did a lot of research into the time period and characters. I love fairy tales. They are so imaginative and fun. Bitter Greens was no exception.

RATING: 3 ½ out of 5.

About the Author

Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling & award-winning author of thirty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both adults and children. She was recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite 20 Novelists, and has been called ‘one of the finest writers of this generation. She is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers, and has told stories to both children and adults all over the world.
Her most recent book for adults is a historical novel called ‘The Wild Girl’, which tells the true, untold love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world’s most famous fairy tales. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, ‘The Wild Girl’ is a story of love, war, heartbreak, and the redemptive power of storytelling, and was named the Most Memorable Love Story of 2013.
She is probably most famous for ‘Bitter Greens’, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale interwoven with the dramatic life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. ‘Bitter Greens’ has been called ‘the best fairy tale retelling since Angela Carter’, and has been nominated for a Norma K. Hemming Award, the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Fiction, and a Ditmar Award.
Her most recent book for children is ‘Grumpy Grandpa’, a charming picture book that shows people are not always what they seem.
Since ‘The Witches of Eileanan’ was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She’s also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with ‘The Gypsy Crown’ – which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, ‘The Lightning Bolt’, was also a CBCA Notable Book.
Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, having already completed a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.
Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, ‘A Mother’s Offering to her Children’. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, and many thousands of books.

For more information please visit Kate Forsyth’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


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  1. I don't think I've ever heard of a rendition of Rapunzel, but I can't wait to find out!

    Thanks for sharing and I hope to see you around my blog :)


  2. I love fairytale retellings! And I also really like historical fiction, so this book sounds ideal to me <3 On top of that, who doesn't like a beautiful cover like that one?