Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth | Book Recommendation

A fairy tale retelling steeped in the history of 17th Century France and Renaissance Venice, where the tale of Rapunzel first began. How utterly beautiful. No wonder Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens was the winner of the American Library Association (ALA) Award for Best Historical Novel.

I just finished reading Bitter Greens and I absolutely adored it. It is a tightly woven historical fiction with delightful moments of magic realism. The voices of the female storytellers were masterfully created. It was fascinating to watch them grow and develop.

Kate Forsyth’s grounding of the story with deeply researched historical figures enriches the prose: from the earliest authors of the fairy tale, Charlotte-Rose de la Force and Giambattista Basile, to the artist Titian and his red-haired muse. I loved finding out about the inspiration for the novel and the true stories behind the fiction as much as I loved the novel itself. 

Please check out Kate Forsyth’s website for more works by her. She blogs and tweets extensively about her writing process and her personal reading list.  This interview on Elisabeth Storrs blog also offers a lot more fascinating insight into the novel.

You can buy Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth here.

My hair still has a way to grow …

Posted by jhamby in Reading, 0 comments

#Napowrimo Day 26

The Wild Rover has been stuck in my head all day long…No nay never… Thanks a lot Maureen. Sea Shanties were today’s prompt and I had fun trying to look up some I once sang back in Sydney at The Dock, Redfern. By ‘once’, I mean just the once, I loved it, but Monday night is a killer – I just want to sleep. Also, check out the 10 Manliest Sea Shanties here.

I really enjoyed today’s poet in translation, Netherlands’ Maarten van der Graaff. I loved the cultural references, the realism and the beats.

Anyway – back to Shanties – as much as I love Molly Malone, Bound for Botany Bay, Wild Rover, Spanish Ladies and more… you’d think I’d have been better equipped to hand today’s prompt….

Nope. Nada. Left it till the end of the day and it still doesn’t roll like it should. Stole a bit from Shakespeare that fit and even then? Ah well… So this is part today’s prompt and part a film review. I think I was inspired by how van der Graaff would go off on a tangent. Enjoy.

Tonight I saw Eye in the Sky
Cry havoc and let slip
Fatal hellfire rained down from high
Cry havoc and let slip

Helen Mirren was firm and Alan Rickman poignant
The Americans direct and the Brits indecisive
The everyday, juxtaposed;
The distance, amplified.

Tonight I saw Eye in the Sky
Cry havoc and let slip
Someone orders the dogs of war
Cry havoc and let slip


Posted by jhamby in Poetry, Reading, 0 comments