Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Book Review: Bitter Greens

02_Bitter Greens 
Publication Date: September 23, 2014 | Thomas Dunne Books | Hardcover; 496p | ISBN-10: 1250047536
Genre: Historical/Fantasy/Fairy-Tale Retellings
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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.

Praise for Bitter Greens

“Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens is an enthralling concoction of history and magic, an absorbing, richly detailed, and heart-wrenching reimagining of a timeless fairytale.” —Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival “See how three vividly drawn women cope with injustice, loneliness, fear, longing. See how they survive—or perpetrate—treachery. Surrender yourself to a master storyteller, to delicious detail and spunky heroines. Bitter Greens is a complex, dazzling achievement.” —Susan Vreeland, New York Times bestselling author of Clara and Mr. Tiffany and Girl in Hyacinth Blue “A magical blend of myth and history, truth and legend, Bitter Greens is one of those rare books that keeps you reading long after the lights have gone out, that carries you effortlessly to another place and time, that makes you weep and laugh and wish you could flip forward to make sure it all ends happily ever after—but for the fact that if you did so, you might miss a line, and no line of this book should be missed.” —Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author of The Ashford Affair “Kate Forsyth wields her pen with all the grace and finesse of a master swordsman. In Bitter Greens she conjures a lyrical fairytale that is by turns breathtaking, inspiring, poetic, and heartbreakingly lovely. Set like a jewel within the events of history, it is pure, peerless enchantment.”—New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn “Bitter Greens is pure enchantment–gripping and lyrical. From the high convent walls where a 17th century noblewoman is exiled, to a hidden tower which imprisons an innocent girl with very long hair, to the bitter deeds of a beautiful witch who cannot grow old–Kate Forsyth weaves an engrossing, gorgeously written tale of three women in search of love and freedom. A truly original writer, Forsyth has crafted an often terrifying but ultimately redemptive dark fairy tale of the heart.”—Stephanie Cowell, American Book Award-winning author of Claude & Camille “Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens is not only a magnificent achievement that would make any novelist jealous, it’s one of the most beautiful paeans to the magic of storytelling that I’ve ever read.”—C.W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici "Threads of history and folklore are richly intertwined to form this spellbinding story. Kate Forsyth has excelled herself with Bitter Greens. Compulsively unputtdownable."—Juliet Marillier, national bestselling author of Flame of Sevenwaters and Heart’s Blood

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Review: You might not want to start this book when you only have a short time to read, because once you start it, you'll be drawn in, and it is a long one, but oh is it so worth your time.

This is a wonderful retelling of Rapunzel mixed with the historical fiction of the Sun King court.


I've read a lot of fairytale reimaginings, but this one is definitely one of the best.

Rating: 5 flowers

Kate Forsyth 1 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.

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 Build a Bookshelf

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, 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

Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

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

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

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 Words and Peace

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

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