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Bitter Greens

by Kate Forsyth

eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on Bitter Greens

This unique and enchanting novel combines historical fiction with a retelling of the story of Rapunzel through three Renaissance women. It simply shouldn’t work as a story but it does so marvellously and is a must read recommendation from us.


Click here to visit the page for The Wild Girl, the new novel from Kate Forysth.

Sarah Broadhurst

Bitter Greens Synopsis

Charlotte-Rose de la Force, exiled from the court of the Sun King Louis XIV, has always been a great teller of tales. Selena Leonelli, once the exquisite muse of the great Venetian artist Titian, is terrified of time. Margherita, trapped in a doorless tower and burdened by tangles of her red-gold hair, must find a way to escape. Three women, three lives, three stories, braided together in a compelling tale of desire, obsession and the redemptive power of love.

Bitter Greens Press Reviews

'I so enjoyed Kate Forsyth's Bitter Greens: a fabulously tangled web of fairy tale and historical romance... Heartbreaking. Exquisitely sensual.'
Essie Fox, author of The Somnambulist

. 'History and fairy tale are richly entwined in this spellbinding story. Unputdownable!
Juliet Marillier, author of Daughter of the Forest




Below are some bloggers comments on Bitter Greens:

'Bitter Greens . . . most certainly will go on my final list of most cherished and loved books of all time. This book doesn’t just lead us on a frivolous walk of enchantment and fantasy. It carries a message about women living their dreams and hopes, overcoming the gender role, being courageous and bold, and most of all love, but beyond that, also the darker emotions and desires that lead us to bad decisions and situations and how we can be redeemed or doomed . . . It’s timeless. Forsyth’s subtle dissection of the culture, art, storytelling and emotions of the time within her fiction, coupled with how we retain and retell stories today, is in a class all its own. Her creation is a masterpiece of art to not get lost in a sea of ever published books. Forsyth could quite possibly be one of the best storytellers of our modern age.'
Oh for the Hook of a Book

'Without hesitation, Kate Forsyth's newest novel is my favourite novel of 2013 . . .
An interesting and unique mash-up of fairy-tale lore, court politics, and thwarted love, this captivating and darkly fascinating look at three intriguing and multi-faceted women is unlike any other book I've come across . . . A vibrant read on all counts, Bitter Greens is sprawling, ambitious and impressive . . . and manages to breathe some fresh air into historical fiction. 5 stars.'
Ageless Pages Reviews

'Bitter Greens is an absolutely beautiful book inside and out, combining three of my favourite genres (historical, romance and fantasy fiction) . . . I was hooked. Bitter Greens is in turns sexy and dangerous, heartbreaking and inspiring . . . a surprise favourite for me out of the books I’ve read this year. 5 stars.'
One More Page

'Bitter Greens is an utterly fantastic retelling of Rapunzel, blended together with the factually-based story of the woman who wrote down the version we know today. Not at all suited for children, Forsyth’s book is an incredibly dark account and far more stupendous . . . The novel is a constant succession of details, complexity, and magnificence . . . The storytelling is exceptional . . . Bitter Greens is a masterpiece . . .

If you want a final recommendation, let this be it: if you don’t want to miss the book that might end up being your favourite of the year, you’ll want to read it, and soon.'
The Wormhole

'A very special and enchanting tale. It is a gorgeous hardback edition, beautifully finished, making it a joy to look at, hold and read. The story is beautifully written, and it makes for an engrossing historical fiction read. In part, it is a retelling of a classic fairy tale, Rapunzel. But it is so much more than this . . . Bitter Greens is definitely one of the highlights of my reading in 2013.'
The Little Reader Library

'Even at almost 500 pages, I finished it in less than twelve hours! It was simply – and I don't EVER use this word lightly – unputdownable and is already a contender for my favourite book of 2013 . . . Bitter Greens is a retelling of the fairy tale about Rapunzel, but it is so much more than that . . . I can't recommend this book highly enough! 5+ stars.'
The Broke and the Bookish

‘An exquisitely intricate tale that will shock, amaze and bewitch . . . The lines between fact and fiction are expertly blurred and blended till we find ourselves wrapped up in the fairy tale ourselves, no longer able to untangle the strands of three very different lives that have culminated in one of the best-loved fairy tales of all time.'
Kincavel Korner

'Bitter Greens gives new insight into several different historical periods, and is a testament to the power of Love. It's a beautiful retelling of a classic fairy tale, with raw, rough emotions and just enough "harsh reality" to make the story strong, believable. The connections between the three, stunningly different women – it's masterfully written.'
A Word's Worth

'Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth will be one of my favourite books of this year. I loved this book! I can guarantee that this book will captivate you . . . and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it especially to those who love fairy tales and historical fiction.'
Peeking Between the Pages

‘With a book I love this much . . . I really ought to just do a video review so I can wave my hands and make excited noises . . . Forsyth mixes magic and history, and comes up with a delicious and heartbreaking treat . . . Told in a story-within-a-story style, Forsyth manages to write a wonderfully solid historical novel . . . as well as a fairy tale fantasy that resonates and delights . . . [it] had me hanging on every word.’
Unabridged Chick

'[A] truly breathtaking novel . . . I cannot get over how overwhelming and beautifully written this book is . . . I am adding it to the top of my best reads of the year.'
Read, Write and Read Some More

‘Exceptional storytelling . . . There is an earthiness to the storytelling that is engaging – it is by turns shocking, fun, sensuous, and filled with twists and turns that keep the reader engaged from beginning to end'
Historical Tapestry

'One of my favourite reads of the year'
Tiny Library

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780749013233
Publication date: 29/07/2013
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780749013233
Publication date: 29th July 2013
Author: Kate Forsyth
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Format: Paperback
Genres: eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,
Categories: Historical fiction, Myth & legend told as fiction,

About Kate Forsyth

Kate Forsyth is the bestselling author of more than twenty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both children and adults. She has won numerous awards and been published in fourteen countries around the world. She is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of A Mother's Offering to her Children, the first book for children ever published in Australia. She lives by the sea in Sydney with her husband, three children, a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback, a bad-tempered black cat, and many thousands of books.

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