Sunday, 5 October 2014

Carole Reviews: Bitter Greens - Kate Forsyth

Author: Kate Forsyth
Title: Bitter Greens 
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fairy-tale, Fantasy, and Romance
Pages: 496
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!) 



26 comments:

  1. Oh I love the weaving of fantasy and fiction! Despite a few assholian characters and back-story issues this sounds like one I need to read!

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    1. It was really fun and the ass-ie characters made it better!

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  2. I read this a long way back and enjoyed how fiction and the fantasy came together

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    1. The author did a good job mixing the too.

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  3. Oh I love the idea of the mix and well French? LOL it's always so fun to have French character in English books.

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  4. Oh this is like that movie with Nicole Kidman a decade ago, The Hours!!

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  5. I'm not sure this is for me, but I do like the cover :)

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  6. Definitely adding this! Rapunzel retelling? Yes, please. ''Sex problem''? ahahah

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    1. LOL the nice way of saying "man-whore"

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  7. I read Wild Girl by Forsyth and looooved it. I've been meaning to pick up another one of her novels since but haven't found the time. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one--I really need to read it soon. Great review!

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    1. Thanks Keertana! I need to check out her other novels myself. :)

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  8. I have read a number of bloggers who have raved about this book too, it's one I want to read. Sounds great.

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  9. The book sounds great but Louis XIV was not a man-whore. He was the centre of the known universe with several whores always circulating around him. Le Soleil.

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    1. HAHAHA that is one way to look at it. ;)

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  10. SO MUCH YES. Actually I havent read the book but I've been wanting to for such a loooooooooong time but the book is also so loooooooooong and it scares me because a. it's historical fiction and b. a lot of people cried. But now I see I must because! Thanks for the cue.

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    1. :D I hope you enjoy it! I'll admit...I teared up a wee bit. hahaha

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  11. So glad you enjoyed this. I can't wait to read it!

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  12. I was curious about this one, and I am so happy to hear you loved it. I must get it as well.

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  13. Kate Forsyth is one of my favourite Aussie authors, I loved Bitter Greens and The Wild Girl. Glad to see you loved it too despite early misgivings.

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  14. I've been tempted to read this book -- but, the almost 500-page length is scaring me away. I'm glad to hear it was a winner! Maybe someday...

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