Author: Kate Forsyth
Title: Bitter Greens
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fairy-tale, Fantasy, and Romance
First Published: 2012
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Given to me by an author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)
"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"
Ooooooh, this was so much better then I thought it was going to be! I was a little worried, because this was a mixture of Historical Fiction and fairy-tale. The way the author blended the two was fantastic. The story revolves around Charlotte-Rose who is a writer and noble, but she has been banished to a convent for some offense she gave to the Sun King. Through her struggles another girl tells her the story of Rapunzel. This inspires Charlotte-Rose to continue writing. The story also focuses on the story of Margherita (aka Rapunzel) and even the witch gets to tell her tale.
I didn't really care much for Charlotte-Rose's back-story, I felt like it took away from the story a bit. However, I really did like Charlotte-Rose and I felt bad that she was forced to go to the convent. However....one knows never to piss of the King. Especially the Sun King for he had an ego problem and a sex problem. Such a man-whore and a spoiled-brat. ANYWAYS, I really want to read Charlotte-Rose's work now! I had never heard of her. Is she real? *goes and researches* Haha! She is. Okay, I admit I did not know where the original story of Rapunzel came from. I knew the Brother's Grimm made a rendition of it and so did Disney.
There is so much to talk about this book, but not enough time. I really, really liked it. It was a lot of fun and I was highly addicted! It was hard to put it down. I truly loved Kate Forsyth's voice. She brings such life to the characters and she sucks you into the time period. Even though half of this is "fairy-tale", it did not feel like a fairy-tale at all. I am really looking forward to reading more by this author. :)
This review is a little short, but I don't know what else to say without giving away too much. I really liked this book! I simply flew through it! I loved Rapunzel's POV and story the best. I did like Charlotte-Rose and I really want to read some of her works someday! I'm surprised, but glad the author included the witch's story. It made her much more "likable"...wrong word....understandable is more the word. A beautiful book and a beautiful story. I was sitting on the edge of my seat...I had to know what was going to happen next!
In the end, I highly recommend this those that like historical fiction and fairy-tales. The blend was done wonderfully. I did skim a little through Charlotte-Rose's backstory at some points; not because they were boring, but because I wanted to know what happened to her and Rapunzel. The story was wonderful and I love the writing style of the author! I can't wait to see what else she has to offer! Out of five stars I stamp this with 5. :)
Favorite Character(s): Margherita (aka Rapunzel), the witch (she was rather interesting), Charlotte-Rose, and Lucio
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Michel (I wanted to punch him! What an ass!)