From internationally bestselling author Kate Forsyth comes a historical novel that gorgeously interweaves the Rapunzel fairy tale with the true life story of French novelist Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force.
Charlotte-Rose has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. She is comforted by an old nun, Sister Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, was sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens.
After Margherita's father steals from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off unless he and his wife give away their little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. Selena is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.
Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.
This sumptuous novel holds the stories of three women, braided together to create a compelling tale of desire, black magic, and the redemptive power of love. Bitter Greens is an impressive feat of storytelling.