Blog Tour- The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth Review + Giveaway

WILD GIRL BLOG TOUR BANNER
Last year I had the pleasure of reading Bitter Greens by Kate Forysth and falling helplessly in love with her writing, characters and story-telling. I am honored to be highlighting this newest book of hers, The Wild Girl, here on the blog today.

About the Book

WILD GIRLThe Wild Girl
By: Kate Forsyth
Release Date: July 7th 2015
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher
This book has been available overseas since March 2013

Dortchen Wild fell in love with Wilhelm Grimm the first time she saw him.

Growing up in the small German kingdom of Hessen-Cassel in early Nineteenth century, Dortchen Wild is irresistibly drawn to the boy next door, the young and handsome fairy tale scholar Wilhelm Grimm.

It is a time of War, tyranny and terror. Napoleon Bonaparte wants to conquer all of Europe, and Hessen-Cassel is one of the first kingdoms to fall. Forced to live under oppressive French rule, the Grimm brothers decide to save old tales that had once been told by the firesides of houses grand and small all over the land.

Dortchen knows many beautiful old stories, such as ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘The Frog King’ and ‘Six Swans’. As she tells them to Wilhelm, their love blossoms. Yet the Grimm family is desperately poor, and Dortchen’s father has other plans for his daughter. Marriage is an impossible dream.

Dortchen can only hope that happy endings are not just the stuff of fairy tales.

My Review

I really can’t think of anyone else who can pull in the authentic feel of history and incorporate it into a story so moving and real as Kate Forsyth. Her writing completely steals my heart and leaves me breathless.  Reading her books you can see how knowledgeable Forsyth is about the historical elements and people she writes about. The level of depth she added to her The Wild Girl was both beautiful and gut-wrenching.

Our main character, Dortchen, did not have an easy life and she deals with some really traumatic events as well as difficult topics to read about (there are some rather detailed scenes of abuse both emotional and sexual in nature). There were parts of the book where I wanted to throttle the page. I hurt with Dortchen and felt so connected to her character that what she experienced impacted me deeply.

I went into this story ignorant to the story surrounding the Grimm brothers and loved seeing the way they were utilized in this story. Little tidbits, translated from German, started each chapter and I found these to be incredibly interesting. As you see from the summary the Grimm family are side characters and we really delve into Dortchen’s life and family. With the backdrop of the story being during such a tumultuous time in history the reader really gets sucked into the time period and hardships of the people.

I had very little knowledge of Bonaparte going into reading this novel but I had taken a German literature class in college. Because of this, I could see tidbits of the German culture I had learned about (and honestly mostly forgotten). Forsyth did a brilliant job of transporting her reader to this time period and location.

The love story between Wilhelm and Dortchen was very much one sided (or so it seemed to me) at the beginning. The story starts with Dortchen being a very young girl and admiring Wilhelm as an intelligent, sweet older boy. The two do have an age difference between them but given the historical time period and way the relationship was written I was not bothered. Their relationship was incredibly sweet to me and was one of the only elements of this book that was easy to read.

I have to admit, I was prepared to read about the difficultly of living in a war-torn society and about the growing love between Dortchen and Wilhelm but I was not prepared for the abuse Dortchen suffered at the hands of her father. Though it was incredibly difficult to read about it was handled with care and respect.

Go into The Wild Girl prepared to feel many emotions, be swept away with Forsyth’s story-telling, characters and ability to recreate a historical time period. Though this book dealt with uncomfortable topics in regards to Dortchen’s family life I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Grimm brothers, history and incredibly character portrayals.

Giveaway

This giveaway is US only. The publisher has been kind enough to provide the winner a hardcover of The Wild Girl
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour- Review and Giveaway of Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

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I am so honored to be included on the tour for Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. This book was breathtaking and one of my favorites of the year (and all time really). I will read anything (and everything) Forsyth writes. If you enjoy retellings or historical fiction with adult themes you will love this book. Go forth and read!

Today I have my flail ridden review and a giveaway provided so kindly by the publisher.

Bitter GreensBitter Greens
By: Kate Forsyth
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Format: Print ARC
Source: friend (thank you Anya!)

This is an adult book so has mature content.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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 Thoughts:
This book was breathtaking and I have failed to find words to adequately describe how much I enjoyed it. I’ve sat on my review and notes for over a month attempting to figure out how to convey my emotions while reading. I can’t promise this will be coherent but I can say that I loved this book.

I went into it knowing only that it was an adult fiction retelling of Rapunzel. I was not nearly prepared for the epic and historical scope of what I was getting into.

Bitter Greens was written as a story within a story. We start first by meeting Charlotte-Rose and her banishment to a nunnery. Forsyth took me on a journey around France and Charlotte-Rose’s story and life. She was based upon a historic character that I had no knowledge of so I found this story to be incredibly intriguing. The setting was expertly done and I was easily transported to the Sun King, Louis XIV’s court.

It’s clear that Forsyth did her research to be able to convey the world and characters so realistically. The characters are the driving force behind this novel. Each was complex with incredible depth and motivations. I loved that we saw multiple view points, even that of the villain. The fact that the villain’s story had be at the edge of my seat and nearly crying for her was incredible.

Along with the historical feel we also have a very in depth and compelling retelling of Rapunzel. I will say I think this book was the most researched and best done look into a classic fairy tale I’ve read.

As I stated above, this review has been an ongoing struggle for me to write. It is not often that a book has left me completely speechless but this one did.

Final Thoughts:
If you like adult historical fiction, retellings, character driven stories and complex villains then Bitter Greens would probably be for you.

About the Kate Forsyth 1Author:
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.

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.

Giveaway:
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Bitter Greens Blog Tour Schedule:
Monday, September 15
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 16
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Review & Giveaway at Bookish

Wednesday, September 17
Review & Giveaway at Literary, etc
Review & Giveaway at Book Drunkard

Thursday, September 18
Review & Giveaway at The Eclectic Reader

Friday, September 19
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Review & Giveaway at Icey Books

Monday, September 22
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at A Dream Within a Dream
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, September 23
Review at Book Dilettante
Review & Giveaway at Build a Bookshelf
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at SurLaLune

Wednesday, September 24
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Review, Interview, and Giveaway at Ink Gypsy
Review, Interview, and Giveaway at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, September 25
Review & Giveaway at No BS Book Reviews
Interview & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter

Friday, September 26
Review at The Gilmore Guide to Books
Review at Must Read Faster

Monday, September 29
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at Bookworm Blues

Tuesday, September 30
Review at The Life & Times of a Book Addict
Review & Excerpt at Books-n-Kisses
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, October 1
Review at One Book at a Time
Review at Book-alicious Mama
Review & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf

Thursday, October 2
Interview at Layered Pages
Review & Giveaway at Oh Magic Hour

Friday, October 3
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Review & Giveaway at Gone Pecan
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Sunday, October 5
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, October 6
Review at Book Babe
Review at A Bibliotaph’s
Reviews
Interview, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Harlequin Junkie

Tuesday, October 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Giveaway at The Pretty Good Gatsby

Wednesday, October 8
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Giveaway at My Friends Are Fiction

Thursday, October 9
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, October 10
Review at Mel’s Shelves
Review & Giveaway at No More Grumpy Bookseller
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, October 13
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Layers of Thought

Tuesday, October 14
Review & Giveaway at Beth’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 15
Review at Crossroad Review
Review at My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews

Thursday, October 16
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, October 17
Review at Mary Gramlich
Review at She Reads Novels

Monday, October 20
Interview & Giveaway at The Reading Frenzy