He pointed one squat finger at her. ‘You love telling stories so much. For one week, you must not speak unless it is in prayer. Do you understand me?’
‘Yes, Father,’ she began, but his large hand lashed out and caught her a ringing blow across the face.
‘Not one word.’ – The Wild Girl by Kate Forsythe (p137)
Kate Forsythe’s Bitter Greens was my favourite book of 2012 and rates as one of my all-time favourites. I’ve had her latest novel, The Wild Girl, on my bookshelf for a while and have been waiting for it to get to the top of the pile. I could have bumped it up the pile, but I wanted to wait so I could savour it. Two days later, I’m almost finished (it’s a big book) … and I will be very sad to put this book down. It’s beautifully written and simply captivating. Expect the review soon, but in the meantime, here’s the blurb.
One of the great untold love stories – how the Grimm brothers discovered their famous fairy tales – filled with drama and passion, and taking place during the Napoleonic Wars.
The Wild Girl tells the story of Dortchen Wild. Growing up next door to the Grimm brothers in Hesse-Cassel, a small German kingdom, Dortchen told Wilhelm some of the most powerful and compelling stories in the famous fairytale collection.
Dortchen first met the Grimm brothers in 1805, when she was twelve. One of six sisters, Dortchen lived in the medieval quarter of Cassel, a town famous for its grand royal palace, its colossal statue of Herkules, and a fairytale castle of turrets and spires built as a love nest for the Prince-Elector’s mistress. Dortchen was the same age as Lotte Grimm, the only girl in the Grimm family, and the two became best friends.
In 1806, Hesse-Cassel was invaded by the French. Napoleon created a new Kingdom of Westphalia, under the rule of his dissolute young brother Jérôme. The Grimm brothers began collecting fairytales that year, wanting to save the old stories told in spinning-circles and by the fire from the domination of French culture. Dortchen was the source of many of the tales in the Grimm brother’s first collection of fairy tales, which was published in 1812, the year of Napoleon’s disastrous march on Russia.
Dortchen’s own father was cruel and autocratic, and he beat and abused her. He frowned on the friendship between his daughters and the poverty-stricken Grimm Brothers. Dortchen had to meet Wilhelm in secret to tell him her stories. All the other sisters married and moved away, but Dortchen had to stay home and care for her sick parents. Even after the death of her father, Dortchen and Wilhelm could not marry – the Grimm brothers were so poor they were surviving on a single meal a day.
Sound good? Is it the kind of book you’d pick up?
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!