Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth + a Giveaway

If you've been following the blog for a while then you might remember how excited I was about Kate Forsyth's Rapunzel retelling, Bitter Greens. And now she's back with the story of Wilhelm Grimm and his wife Dortchen. Thanks to the publisher, I get to offer up a copy to one of you lucky readers. Be sure to scroll through to the Rafflecopter to enter.

Dortchen knew she was in love with Wilhelm Grimm the first time she laid eyes on him. For years, they danced around one another, drawn together by undeniable affection. Sadly, though, Dortchen's own father was against the match and his death didn't make marrying any more of an option. With war surrounding them, the two persevered, living through poverty and French rule. And as Wilhelm and his brother strove to collect and preserve the stories that were their country's legacy, Dortchen and Wilhelm's love for one another never faded. 

We've all heard of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm. We all know the stories they collected and compiled. But where did those stories come from? Turns out many of them came from Wilhelm's wife and other women like her. Kate Forsyth imagines their years together as a bit of a fairy tale in its own right, drawing from actual historical documents and the earliest printings of the Grimm brothers' stories to bring Dortchen to life for today's readers.

What I love about Forsyth's work is that she's incorporating real history with fairy tales. As was the case with Bitter Greens, her Rapunzel retelling, The Wild Girl combines the history of the era and the documented history of the Brothers Grimm and those around them, to weave together an enthralling tale with a very real backdrop. And though this is less a fairy tale retelling than an all out biographic fiction, it does still have that hint of wonderment we all love about the Grimm tales.

As she points out, much of Dortchen's life is unknown so there's understandably a lot of imagining and reimagining here. What is known, though, is that Dortchen shared some of the most famous Grimm tales with the brothers ("Rumpelstiltskin" and "Hänsel and Gretel," for example) and that Wilhelm and Dortchen did eventually marry. Wilhelm's longtime affection for Dortchen is documented as well. Pairing all of that with the historical happenings around them (Bonaparte's campaign to defeat EVERYTHING and his rule of Hesse-Cassel) makes for a great foundation, but it's Forsyth's true skill as a storyteller that makes this a stand out read.

Fans of historical fiction and fairy tale retellings alike will devour The Wild Girl - and will love every moment of it!

Rating: 4/5

And now for the giveaway! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, August 3. Open US only and no PO boxes please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

14 comments:

Kimberly V said...

I thought Bitter Greens was fantastic, so I am sure that I would love this one.

traveler said...

What a wonderful feature and giveaway. Thanks for this fascinating historical. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Diane Coto said...

I love the cover of this book. I'll have to look for Kate Forsyth's retelling of Rapunzel -- Bitter Greens. Rapunzel is my favorite fairy tale. :)
@dino0726 from 
FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

cpr040304 said...

Sounds like a great book of love and lots of history. Thanks for the giveaway!

Soft Fuzzy Sweater said...

I am fanatical about the Grimms. The last movie I saw was Into the Woods and I have done research using Bettelheim's "The Uses of Enchantment" along with other sources of inspiration. Please enter me. I would be so grateful.

annfesATyahooDOTcom

bn100 said...

looks interesting

Terry said...

Love Kate's writing. Can't wait to read this one.

Anonymous said...

I'm super excited to get my hands on A copy! The cover is beautiful and the story sounds so interesting! Great giveaway!

Courtney Gaston said...

Nice blog!

Courtney Gaston said...

Nice Blog

KAS said...

I am so psyched about this giveaway, as I am very eager to start reading this new (to us in the US anyhow ;-) release from this amazing author! I could gush endlessly, so I'll just stop. I can't think straight...so excited! Cheers, Kara S

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the chance - Jack Ripple

Lisa Bretherick said...

I love books about fairy tales, and I know that Grimm's are darker compared to others, wondering if there might be some insight into why.

Side Note- Is the twit about giveaway working correctly? Mine turned out with a weird tweet for some reason.

Becky LeJeune said...

Hi, Lisa! There is a bit about the dark nature, some interesting notes in the author's afterword as well about one possible Dortchen connection to subtle differences in Grimm tales as well.

The tweet appears to be working but who knows. You can always post your own tweet linking back to the giveaway - just post that url in the same box on the Rafflecopter entry for that option.