Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth is a totally engrossing tale of consisting of three story lines with the fairy tale Rapunzel at its apex. Charlotte Rose de la Force is banished from Versailles by Louis the IV, the Sun King. Her scandalous affairs go beyond even what is fashionable in that time period. Charlotte is also a French Novelist which was a unique calling during this time period. She bonds with a mysterious older nun Soeur Seraphina who calms and engages her with the glories of her herbal garden. She also spins a tale about a beautiful young girl with red gold hair locked in a tower. The story moves to the fate of Margherita whose father steals bitter greens from the garden of Selena who demands the first born child or the father will have his hands chopped off. In desperation the father promises this since it is seven years away and likely anything can change in that time period. Of course it does not and Margherita is spirited away soon after her seventh birthday and banished to the tower by Selena. The novel then moves to the life and times of Charlotte which resulted in her banishment and next to the life of Selena and her mystical gifts and dark talents. If the reader gets this far into the story it becomes a page turner wherein the outcome of all three powerful women is eager sought. -The reader is pulled into another world of where magical happenings were regular occurrences and ingenuity the part of Charlotte Rose, Margherita and Selena have the reader cheering each of them onward. A tale for any who want to be swept away by a tantalizing fairy tale for adults!
Reviewed by Karen