Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Rating: It was OK
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1907 KB
Print Length: 496 pages
Publisher: Random House Australia (20 March 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
Language: English

"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."

I am sad to say this is probably my least favourite book by Forsyth that I have read, and I have that feeling like I read a different book to everyone else as all my blogger friends who I trust, said they loved this book, meanwhile I just couldn't get into it.

I think my main issue was the different points of views which for me is an annoyance. I found the change of view hard to over come to really enjoy the story. I know the book is told from three different points of view but while reading it, I felt like I was reading three different books. But Forsyth did eventually tie the two different points of views together, so it did make sense as to why these stories were being told this way. By the end of the book I wasn't as frustrated with the different points of view as I was at the start.

My other main issue was that I found Charolette-Rose's story fascinating and got irritated that I had to change point of view mid story to continue someone else's. I feel like I know the characters of Le Straga and Marghaerite much better then Charolette-Rose' character. As I mentioned before Charolette-Rose was an interesting historical figure who lived in the court of 16 Century France, that witnessed many turbulent times, and wrote fairy tales. I mean she dressed as a dancing best to rescue her lover, does this not sound like a character you want to get to know? Yet I don't feel like I know her very well at all by the end of the book compared to Le Straga and Margherite.

The saving grace of this book is Forsyth's writing, which is always is so whimsical and descriptive. She can easily capture your imagination and send you to the era she is writing in. Her books are also very well researched which makes for a more authentic feel to the story. The story was interesting (both stories) and I liked how Forsyth ended the book.

I really wanted to like this story more but I couldn't the different points of views just annoyed me to much to really get into the story which was lovely and interesting (all three of them). I wish I could have enjoyed the book more but I just couldn't.

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