8 Jun 2015

THE WILD GIRL.


THE WILD GIRL by KATE FORSYTH.

BACK COVER BLURB: Once upon a time there were six sisters. The pretty one, the musical one, the clever one, the helpful one, the young one ...

And then there was the Wild one.

Dortchen Wild has loved Wilhelm Grimm since she was a young girl. Under the forbidding shadow of her father and the tyranny of Napoleon's army the pair meet secretly to piece together a magical fairy tale collection.

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue: Briar Hedge}: 'Wild by name and wild by nature,' Dortchen's father used to say of her.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 377}: Next, she unwound the rags that bound his hands. To her horror, a finger came away with the rags and fell to the floor.

SOURCE: A reading group read.

MY THOUGHTS: 'The story behind the stories of the Brother Grimm.' 

This is the story of Dortchen Wild .... and what a story it is.

Starting and ending with 'Sweetheart Roland' each of the seven parts of the book begins with a tale in a novel that weaves extracts of actual Grimm's Brother stories as told to Whilem by Dortchen with the historical.

Beautifully written, the author's prose is unimaginably rich and yet relentlessly grim so as to be depressing - 'happy ever afters' seem to be in thin supply.

A coming of age story in so much as it spans many years chronicling the rise and fall of both the Wild and Grimm families. As Dortchen's story it gives a wonderful and yet often bleak and disturbing insight into her life as she blossoms into womanhood. 

A historical romance but make no mistake this is no 'chicklit romance' with a hint of the historical. Unfolding slowly, painfully slowly, as 'star-crossed lovers' Dortchen and Whilem are helpless in their love for each other as war rages and Dortchen's father intervenes.

The Wild Girl is both of these things and so, so much more. The most compelling element of the novel for me being the passages regarding the usage of the herbal remedies that brought so much relief and yet so much suffering to the various characters.

Without doubt an epic story well told. Ideal I would have thought for all those readers who like myself enjoy books with folk stories at their heart. Why then was I a tad disappointed?


19 comments:

Suko said...

Tracy, I enjoyed your review, although your last line, a question, left me wondering.

Brandi Kosiner said...

The prose sounds well done in this one

Natasha Hill said...

This sounds really interesting, another book to add to my list! I always enjoy your reviews Tracy. - Tasha

Literary Feline said...

I love the cover. This one sounds interesting. And now you've got me curious why you were left a little disappointed. I find that happens to me sometimes too in my reading. I just can't pinpoint what it is, as good as the book may be. I hate it when that happens.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hm... I wonder why it didn't gel. Perhaps it was the prose? Sometimes it tends to get in the way. This one sounds strange enough that I would enjoy it. :)

Kelly said...

I'm intrigued. Knowing full well the tales by The Brothers Grimm are quite grim, indeed, I can only imagine what this must be like. But like some of the others, I do wonder what was lacking for you.

I may have to look into this a little more closely.

Tracy Terry said...

Perhaps just not the right time to have read it. I can't help but wonder if the largely grim storyline is the reason for my disappointment.
Yes it is a gorgeous cover and the back is just as pretty.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I'd have to be in the right mood for this.
BTW, I have 5 sisters :)

Alexia561 said...

Sorry that this one was disappointing for you. Maybe it was just too dark and/or slow?

Melliane said...

sorry for your final feeling about this one but it sounds like a great one too, I didn't know about it I confess.

Brian Joseph said...

This sounds intriguing.

I was particularly impressed with your description of the writing style. Rich and grim can be hard to take but sometimes I think one needs a bit of that in a book.

kimbacaffeinate said...

Wonderful review Tracy. I love how it weaves in Grimm tales.

DMS said...

What a great cover! I have always been intrigued by the Brothers Grimm and their tales, so I am definitely curious about this one. Sorry you were a little disappointed- but overall it sounds like a really good read. Thanks for sharing. :)
~Jess

Barbara Fisher said...

Hi Tracy, I read the first couple of lines of your post thinking this sounds like a fairy tale and of course that’s just what it is in a way.
As I read on through your post, I was already adding it to my must-read list, but your last line left me wondering. I think I will take a look at it the next time I’m in a bookshop, read a few lines and see how I feel.
I recoiled a bit when I read about the finger coming away with the rags – how horrible.

Tracy Terry said...

A readers group read, I can't wait to hear what my fellow readers made of this one at our meeting tomorrow (Thursday).

Gina R said...

Ooh now see I was captured from cover to content. Great feature my friend! Thanks for the share!

Claudine G. said...

The blurb and first line didn't really catch my fancy. But when you said it was 'beautifully written' I admit I was curious. Might pick it up to read a page or two first. (The author's name sounds familiar. I must have heard of her somewhere.)

Lindsay said...

I liked this one and I think she's a good writer, I think I liked Bitter Greens even more though.

Tracy Terry said...

For whatever reason few of the readers group had finished the book but for those who had one loved it, another, like me, enjoyed it but had reservations and a fourth thought it was ok - interesting in places but lacked any depth and was way too long

I've heard several people say Bitter Greens is a better read Lindsay so plan to give it a go.