This month sees the release for a new book, Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. Alas, this one will be harder to obtain for many readers here although those of you from New Zealand and Australia have reason to rejoice and even preen a little since this one will be much easier for you to obtain. I have a guest blog post by Kate to share today, too, so look for that post. As for obtaining copies, the book doesn't have a U.S. publisher yet although Kate hopes to at least see an ebook release of the title soon. For now, the best bookshop to buy Australian books from is http://www.fishpond.com.au/ as they have cheap shipping – alternatives are http://www.dymockscom.au/ and http://www.booktopia.com.au/.
Here's the book description:
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. 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 a handful of parsley, wintercress and rapunzel from the walled garden of the courtesan, Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off … unless he and his wife give away their 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, sixty-one years later. Called La Strega Bella, Selena is at the centre of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.
Locked away in a tower, growing to womanhood, Margherita sings in the hope someone will hear her. One day, a young man does …
Three women, three lives, three stories, braided together to create a compelling story of desire, obsession, black magic, and the redemptive power of love.
"History and fairytale are richly entwined in this spellbinding story. Compulsively unputdownable!"
Juliet Marillier, author of 'Daughter of the Forest'
"A must read for lovers of historical fiction. Philippa Gregory watch out!"
Pamela Freeman, winner of the 2006 NSW History Prize
Margo Lanagan says “Kate’s Forsyth’s BITTER GREENS is lively, lush and verrry sex-eh!
For those of you who don't know or have forgotten the real Charlotte-Rose de la Force wrote an early version of Rapunzel, predating Grimms. You can read English translations of the tale in The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm (Norton Critical Editions) or Rapunzel and Other Maiden in the Tower Tales From Around the World.