I am so happy I decided to go and check it out as it is one of the best historical fantasy novels I have ever read!
|'Bitter Greens' by Kate Forsyth|
Kate Forsyth has magically woven together history and folklore in this retelling of the classic fairy tale Rapunzel, where you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins, where they meld so beautifully together.
The narrative revolves around three female leads and their stories knitted together creating a story within a story around a memoir.
Charlotte-Rose de la Force, an effervescent French aristocrat, with an appetite for writing and a spirit that will not be constricted, struggling with to come to terms with life in a convent following several scandalous affairs at her time in court during the reign of the Sun King;
Margherita, the Rapunzel of the story and a peasant girl stolen from her parents and imprisoned in a tower, kept company by the skeletons of the girls who came before her;
Selena Lioneli, a Venetian courtesan with a ruinous past that has warped her outlook on life generating her belief in nothing but the value of her own beauty.
Three exceptionally prevailing characters, each with their own trials and tribulations in life, linked through fate, magic and dark secrets across the ages.
Forsyth manages to break the mould of the traditional fairy tale, shaking our knowledge of the Disney version we all know and challenging the reader to rethink our predispositions.
Giving way to strong women who don't just wait around to be rescued (of course the exception being she who is stuck in the tower, but it wasn't for a lack of trying in her case).