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Bitter Greens (Anglais) Relié – 25 février 2013

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Revue de presse

'History and fairy tale are richly entwined in this spellbinding story. Unputdownable!' --Juliet Marillier, author of Daughter of the Forest --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

Charlotte-Rose de la Force, exiled from the court of the Sun King Louis XIV, has always been a great teller of tales. Selena Leonelli, once the exquisite muse of the great Venetian artist Titian, is terrified of time. Margherita, trapped in a doorless tower and burdened by tangles of her red-gold hair, must find a way to escape. Three women, three lives, three stories, braided together in a compelling tale of desire, obsession and the redemptive power of love. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I have loved Kate Forsyth's work since I first picked up the Witches of Eileanan series many years ago and I have enjoyed seeing her writing style evolve over time.

Her latest novel, Bitter Greens, weaves together the different narrators' stories beautifully with excellent storytelling. I cannot recommend this book enough and sincerely hope that Ms Forsyth will tackle another fairytale retelling in the future.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ede7fd8) étoiles sur 5 129 commentaires
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c1cb834) étoiles sur 5 Highly recommended! 16 juillet 2012
Par Cass - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
I loved this book: historical fiction with a fairy tale twist and three great characters telling their stories. Some parts were difficult to read, but that was because of my natural, modern horror at the way women were treated centuries ago, not because those parts were poorly written. Forsyth has a truly evocative style; I had faith that she'd come through and she did.

One thing I loved was the elaborations on the Rapunzel story: why the witch did what she did, and how; why Rapunzel didn't escape on her own. The idea of the helpless princess waiting to be rescued was never one I loved, but Forsyth managed to portray the poor trapped girl as having spirit and doing her best to save herself. At no point was I frustrated with the character for just sitting around and waiting.

The only raised eyebrow I had about the book was the different voices (first person versus third person), and even that becomes clear by the end ... but I won't elaborate due to spolers.

Highly recommended!
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c1dd6cc) étoiles sur 5 A little too disturbing for my tastes. 8 octobre 2014
Par Bluerose's Heart - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
When I first started reading this book, I knew it was a re-telling of Rapunzel. What I didn’t realize was that it is loosely based on the true story of Charlotte-Rose de la Force. She wrote the original fairy tale while banished to a convent.

This book mostly focuses on 3 women, though we learn about others, too. It goes back and forth through time quite a bit. For the most part I was able to keep up, but it does get a little confusing at times. If done well, I’m typically a fan of books that move back and forth in time. In that area, I think this book was well done.


This is not a book I can recommend to just anyone. It is very dark! I’m *highly* sensitive, but I was so disturbed at times that I was sick to my stomach. It gets violent, and one of the main characters is a witch, doing dark, gruesome magic. There are also several sex scenes. Some of them were willing, but some of them were rape scenes, and disturbing. There’s also profanity, including the F-bomb. It has very mature content, so I recommend reading with caution.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c1b2074) étoiles sur 5 A superb tale 17 avril 2012
Par Shelleyrae - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
In Bitter Greens, Forsyth weaves together the narratives of Rapunzel, the author of the fairy tale, Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force and the courtesan sorceress, 'La Strega Bella', Selena Leonelli, against the intriguing backdrop of seventeenth century Europe, from the court of Versailles presided over by the Sun King, Louis XIV to a cloistered stone convent. Bitter Greens is a mesmerising tale blending history, fantasy and adventure in a remarkable story.

Charlotte-Rose de Camont de la Force, Forsyth reveals in the Afterword, was the author of 'Persinette' a fairy tale written while she was in exile at a French convent. 'Persinette', meaning Little Parsley, is the basis for the tale we know as Rapunzel. Bitter Greens opens as Charlotte-Rose is settling into the Abbey, miserable and lamenting her banishment from the Royal Court. There is little of anything in the austere convent, little food, little warmth and little kindness. Only Soeur (Sister) Seraphina reaches out to Charlotte-Rose and begins to tell her a story of a little girl named Margherita, affectionately called Persinette by her parents.
As the story of Bitter Greens unfolds, perspective switches between that of Charlotte-Rose who recalls the circumstances that have led her to the Abbey, and the tale of Margherita, (as told by Sister Seraphina) taken from her parents and imprisioned in a tower. 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. Apprenticed to a witch, Wise Sibillia, Selena learns the dark magic of lust, desire and revenge and becomes known as La Strega Bella - The Beautiful Witch. These complex women are extraordinary characters, both a product of, and ahead of, their times. Their stories are fascinating and though there are many differences between them, there are also similarities, not the least being the way in which as women, Charlotte-Rose, Selena and Margherita are at the mercy of society.
Bitter Greens is a dark story, shying away from the Disney versions of fairy tales and princesses. In this Rapunzel tale, Margherita is ripped screaming from her parents arms and is kept company in the tower by the skeletons of the girls who came before her. Even though you are familiar with the tale the grim circumstance and differences to the sanitised tale maintain suspense. It is however, also a story of redemption and love as promised.
With authentic and compelling detail Forsyth explores the excesses of Versailles, often a scene of debauchery and treachery. Charlotte-Rose, as a cousin to the King, is admitted to the court at sixteen but her bright mind and rebellious spirit is as often derided as it is feted. The elaborate hierarchy and capricious politics often determined by King Louis' current fancy are interesting. The elegant costumes of the Court hide ignorance and indifferent brutality. Of the streets, Forsyth writes of casual violence, poverty, religious purges and the scourge that is the plague. While I can't attest to the historical accuracy of the author's imaginings the Bitter Greens is rich with vibrant landscape and scenes.

The author's first adult tale after a successful publishing career in young adult fantasy, Bitter Greens is a stunning novel. I was spell bound from beginning to end by the lush prose, magnificent characters and intriguing story. I will be recommending Bitter Greens to everyone.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c1ddcf0) étoiles sur 5 Beautiful but very very slow. 26 octobre 2014
Par Karissa Eckert - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Previously I had read Forsyth’s Rhiannon’s Ride trilogy and really loved it. I also have her Witches of Eilean series on my bookshelf waiting to be read. When I saw Forsyth had written a book that was a historical fiction retelling of Rapunzel I was incredibly excited. Unfortunately this book was just not my thing, I read the first 200 pages then decided it was time to stop struggling through it and set it aside.

This book tells the story of Charlotte-Rose de la Force, a French poet who has been banished from the Court of Versailles to a desolate abbey. There Charlotte suffers many indignities and finally meets an old nun named Sœur Seraphina. Sœur Seraphina tells her the story of Margherita, a young girl whose father stole parsley from a ccourtesannamed Selena Leonelli. In payment Selena wanted to take Margherita once she comes of age and lock her in a tower.

This book was just not my thing. My first problem with it was way too much switching between timeframes and characters. First you here from Charlotte-Rose in the present time, then you hear from Seraphina who jumps you back in time to Margherita’s story. Within Margherita’s story you go back and forth in time as well. Then Margherita's mother tells a story that takes you further back in time, then you jump forward in time to Margherita's present. After all that suddenly you are back reading from Charlotte-Rose’s perspective and she takes us back in time to her childhood. I kept having to go back and forth between parts of the book and compare time frames, it was frustrating.

My second problem with this book is that it reads more like a French history book more than a fictional novel. Especially the parts from Charlotte Rose’s POV are filled with tons of six part French names and gossip about the nobility at the time. I am honestly not all the great with names and there was no way I was going to keep track of the plethora of foreign names. I suppose I could have started a chart in excel or something, but there were just so many of them. I am taking 10-20 new names per page at times. If I want to read a French history book I will read one, but reading a fairy tale retelling that sounds more like a French history book was just not my thing.

All the above resulted in a book that, while beautifully written, moved incredibly slow and was incredibly slow to read. I just kept falling asleep while reading this book. I finally had to give up the struggle because I just couldn’t get through more than 10 pages at a time without falling asleep.

Despite the above complaints, I am not saying this is a bad book. The language and description are incredibly beautiful. Forsyth obviously put a ton of work into researching this novel. I was intrigued at the idea of going back to the roots of the story of Rapunzel and really digging into the reason behind its writing. It’s an excellent idea. However there was just too much detail here and it’s detail that isn’t needed to make a good and entertaining story.

I would also say this is more appropriate for adult readers. There are a number of deviant sexual exams/scenes that wouldn’t be appropriate for younger readers.

Overall this book was not for me. The numerous changes in timeframe and viewpoint were hard to follow and at times this reads more like a French history book than a fantasy novel. That is not to say this book is a bad book. Forsyth writes beautifully (if with a bit too much detail) and she obviously put a ton of work into researching French history when she wrote this novel. However the result is a novel that is very slow-paced with excruciating detail. Those interested in French history will find a lot here to love. Those interested in an engaging fairy tale retelling should look elsewhere. For me this was a did not finish.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c9c21ec) étoiles sur 5 Bitter Greens 3 août 2014
Par N. Cousino - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Bitter Greens is a historical-fiction novel that is a very different re-telling of the story of Rapunzel- it entwines the story of 3 different women in different periods of time. French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force is the actual historical figure who wrote the real story that Rapunzel is based on. Charlotte-Rose is forced to enter a convent after she has displeased the Sun King, Louis XIV where after a life at the court of the king she learns a much harsher, bleaker life than the one she had become accustomed to. In the convent she hears the story of Margherita (the Rapunzel of this story), a young girl who is taken from her parents at a young age and is forced to enter the same convent that Charlotte-Rose enters many years later. Selena is the third woman in this tale that binds everyone together. While some would see her as an evil sorceress (the Mother Gothel of this tale, if you're familiar with the Disney version), her story shows us what she goes through to become the cunning, vengeful, spirited woman that she is.

Kate Forsyth did a good job of researching the time period and presenting it in her novel, her language and characters seem very real and believable - for a historical novel it's quite good. I struggled a bit in the beginning getting past the numerous French words thrown in frequently and kept stopping to look them up if I wasn't able to figure out their meaning as they were used in the sentence, but after a while it became easier. I also had a bit of trouble throughout the book keeping track of who was speaking and the time period - the chapters jump around between characters and time periods. Overall though I definitely like it - for those who like historical fiction or like non-traditional fairy tales I recommend it. I also would recommend this for ages 18 and older, as there are some sex scenes in the book -a far cry from the Disney version, but far more believable.
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