I will do my best to avoid spoilers. I will try to avoid referring to anything too specifically past the first three pages, although of course there will be general reference past this point, for there must be in order to review the whole novel.
Once upon a time there was a young princess who was trapped in a tower. But of course it wasn’t really a tower, it was a hospital, and it wasn’t really a princess it was a little girl. That little girl was Kate Forsyth. Through her time spent in hospitals as a child Kate Forsyth learned about yearning, struggle, and the importance of an imagination. She put that imagination into good use through reading fairy tales and writing her own stories. Now much older (well not MUCH older), Kate Forsyth’s latest novel “The Wild Girl” combines her exquisite story telling abilities and her love of fairy tales.
“The Wild Girl” explores the life of Dortchen Wild, one of the sources that the brothers Grimm used to write their collection of stories. It is a tale of love, exploration, family, hardships and exploration. Kate Forsyth manages to weave a beautiful spell between historical fiction, magic realism and fairy tale, as she tells the tale of Dortchen Wild. From the very first few pages you know that not only will this be historically accurate, with mentions of the palace and customs, but there will also be that beautiful sense of fairy tale magic, with the references to crows and rose thorns. Throughout the entire novel this balance of history and magic is held strong. Small touches such as using the historically accurate, yet fairytalesque (yes, I made up that word but I’m sticking with it) term for Napoleon “The Ogre”, is what makes this book so special.
I won’t spoil it for you by mentioning any more, aside from this is a truly magical book for the lovers of historical fiction, fantasy, magic realism or fairy tale.