Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
Tour hosted by Historical Fiction Book Tours
Publisher: Allison & Busby, 25 February 2013
Twitter Hashtag: #BitterGreensVirtualTour
I received Bitter Greens about a week ago in the mail and was pretty worried that I wouldn't get it finished in time. However, even at almost 500 pages, I finished it in less than 12 hours! It was simply - and I don't EVER use this word lightly - unputdownable and is already a contender for my favorite book of 2013.
Bitter Greens is a retelling of the fairy tale about Rapunzel, but it still so much more than that. It's the story of three women: Selena, a great Venetian beauty in the early 16th century, who in order to preserve her youthful looks, kidnaps Margherita (of course not named Rapunzel, but that still has a part) in order to feed off of her youth, and Charlotte-Rose, a former lady in the court of French king Louis XIV who has been banished to a nunnery and is having the story of Selena and Margherita told to her. Sound confusing? It may be at first - if you need a better explanation, click HERE for the book's goodreads page. The POVs are not sequential and jump around a fair bit, but soon enough you'll get used to this. Kate Forsyth is one of the most wonderful storytellers I've come across - everything from the decadence of Versailles to the stink of Venice was written so vividly.
Charlotte-Rose's story is by far my favorite. Of course I love reading about kings and their courts, but Louis XIV is one of the best and Charlotte-Rose's role in it all was intriguing. She is a person who really existed and is a wonderful person to read about. She wrote books, was sassy to the king, and rescued her lover by dressing up as a bear. It was interesting to see her change from a fancy, liberal court lady to a humble woman in a nunnery. I can't wait to check out some biographies about her! In all three stories, witchcraft plays quite a big role, and as a historical novel, there is always some danger in those stories. Bitter Greens is a great look into the beliefs and laws of the times. God forbid if you were anything but Catholic in either France or Italy during these times! You'll certainly read about these wars and prejudices as well. I love that I received subtle history knowledge while reading an entertaining story.
I was going to offer up my copy for a giveaway but I've just become too attached to it (and the gorgeous cover)! If you guys do want a chance to win a copy, hit up the link under the banner for some blogs that may be having giveaways. I encourage you to do so as I can't recommend this book highly enough! 5+ stars.