You know how it is when you get one of those perfect books?
The kind of book where you savour every line, every chapter, every character. The kind of book that sweeps you away to another time, another place. The kind of book that makes you sigh and cry and laugh out loud. The kind of book you hug to your chest between chapters.
The kind of book that’s hard to talk about because it’s so personally perfect that you want to keep it to yourself in case others don’t love it as much as you.
These perfect books don’t come along as often as they should or as often as they used to.
The specific elements that make up a perfect book for me have evolved over the years. And I’m sure that my idea of a perfect read will be different to yours.
However, Bitter Greens ticked all my boxes.
We have two interwoven stories; one set in France during the reign of Louis the Sun King (late 1600’s) and one set in Venice in the 1590’s. One story follows the life of Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force (1650-1724) and one is a retelling of the Rapunzel fairytale.
Both Charlotte-Rose and Kate Forsyth have a passion for fairytales and story-telling. This passion is sumptiously imagined on every single page of Bitter Greens.
If you love seductively good story-telling, biography dressed up as historical fiction, fairytales, strong female characters, Eurpoean history and romance then Bitter Greens will be perfect for you too.
Bitter Greens is an April release through Random House Australia.
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.