Editorial Reviews. Review. ‘I so enjoyed Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens: a fabulously tangled web of fairy tale and historical romance Heartbreaking. Exquisitely. Winner of the American Libraries Association prize for Historical Fiction. A lovely stew of sex, fairytales and, well, sex really. THE AGE. 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.

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Bitter Greens

I remember when reading the synopsis for Bitter Greens and thinking it sounded interesting and how could I go wrong since I love historical fiction so much.

The third and final main character is Selena Leonelli, a witch and once the exquisite muse of the great Venetian artist Titian. Selena’s story, though, is rather less satisfying. One of Titian’s muses, Selena Leonelli, has taken to witchcraft to preserve her youth, and when a neighbor steals greens from her yard, the witch takes their Margherita for use in her own dark magic.

I enjoyed her story immensely. Set up a giveaway.

Quite simply, this is an outstanding, mesmerizing book that is one of the finest works of historical fiction I have read. It’s a big, glorious kare, full of love, lust, pain, politics, blood red and blue, and some of the best frocks and the worst fleas ever. View all 19 comments. The story of the witch, Selena, humanises it a lot, as she’s given her own turbulent past and you begin to feel pity for this woman who treats Margherita so cruelly.


Weaving the tale of the infamous French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force with the tale of Rapunzel, Forsyth delivers a luscious, sensual and incredibly moving tale of love, betrayal, politics, religion, female friendship, desire and gender against the backdrop of Renaissance France and the court of the Sun-King Loius XIV and the heady life of a courtesan in Sixteenth Century Venice.

Charlotte-Rose moves in and out of the royal courts of France. Forsyth then introduces Selena Leonelli, who shares her own tale of a life as the cherished and beautiful daughter of a courtesan, whose brutal downfall and death leads Selena to swear vengeance.

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. It is however, also a story of redemption and love as promised. The reviews were spot on with this novel. Clocking in at a respectable five hundred pages, Bitter Greens has some heft to it.

Never a dull moment in this one, folks. Bitter Greens is beautifully written, with wonderful female characters, and a story that just had to be told. If you answered yes to the above questions bbitter and grreens, I can’t imagine why you would say no – then Bitter Greens greeens a book for you. It is always a pleasure to read a book so beautifully written.

: Bitter Greens: A Novel eBook: Kate Forsyth: Kindle Store

Lists with This Book. It was also interesting to read about life in the court at Versailles, with the noblewoman – Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force – an actual figure in history. That shows my obsession and so I was delighted beyond belief when I finally got my hands on this one. Bitter Greens First Published: I thought this was going to be a tale of her hardships within and her attempts to escape, alternating with another woman in a similar position.


I knew the story would change as I told it. Three women, three lives, three stories, braided together to create a compelling story of desire, obsession, black magic, and the redemptive power of love. 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. This review also forms part of my contribution to the Australian Women Writers Challenge Anyone who has plunged into the history of fairytales understands that it was the Brothers’ Grimm whom we have to thank and curse for many of the current and highly sanitized versions of centuries old and told folk tales that frequent contemporary culture – Grimm and Disney.

Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. I love that we have a main character that is an older female but is every bit as vibrant as our young adolescent and women in the peak of their lives.

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. I would love to read some of Kate Forsyth’s other work. There is plenty of bitrer, with well-rounded characters and fascinating themes. Because it’s always a pleasure to find a great read, and it’s somehow even more amazing when it’s out of your comfort zone. Kate Reading always does a excellent job narrating with all of her unique voices.