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The Wild Girl: Book summary and reviews of The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth

The Wild Girl

by Kate Forsyth

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth X
The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2015
    496 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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About this book

Book Summary

One of six sisters, Dortchen Wild lives in the small German kingdom of Hesse-Cassel in the early 19th century. She finds herself irresistibly drawn to the boy next door, the handsome but very poor fairy tale scholar Wilhelm Grimm. It is a time of tyranny and terror. Napoleon Bonaparte wants to conquer all of Europe, and Hesse-Cassel is one of the first kingdoms to fall. Forced to live under oppressive French rule, Wilhelm and his brothers quietly rebel by preserving old half-forgotten tales that had once been told by the firesides of houses grand and small over the land.

As Dortchen tells Wilhelm some of the most powerful and compelling stories in what will one day become his and Jacob's famous fairy tale collection, their love blossoms. But Dortchen's father will not give his consent for them to marry and war, death, and poverty also conspire to keep the lovers apart. Yet Dortchen is determined to find a way.

Evocative and richly-detailed, Kate Forsyth's The Wild Girl masterfully captures one young woman's enduring faith in love and the power of storytelling.

First published in 2013. Reprinted in hardcover by Thomas Dunne in 2015

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This intriguing look at a little-known historical figure has definite appeal for fairy-tale aficionados." - Library Journal

"History and fairy tale are richly entwined in this spellbinding story. Unputdownable!" - Juliet Marillier, author of Daughter in the Forest

"Like a fairytale, The Wild Girl gives us an explosive and evocative set of truths set within a deceptively simple and delicately written story." - The Newtown Review of Books

"Against an intricately-crafted tapestry of early nineteenth-century German daily life and tumultuous, tragic historical events, the story of star-crossed lovers Dortchen Wild and Wilhelm Grimm unfolds with a kind of dreamy, haunting precision." - Sophie Masson, author of Moonshine and Ashes

"Kate Forsyth is a storyteller whose books are spun out of magic and folklore." - Readings (AU)

"Wonderful. Whether you love fairy tales or historical fiction or romance, there is something for you" - January Magazine 

"This book captivated me from the very first scene. An historical novel with a lot of heart which will appeal to lovers of Austen and the Brontes as well as those in love with Kate Morton and Philippa Gregory." - John Purcell, Booktopia

"History and fairy tale are richly entwined in this spellbinding story. Unputdownable!' - Juliet Marillier, author of Daughter in the Forest

"Like a fairytale, The Wild Girl gives us an explosive and evocative set of truths set within a deceptively simple and delicately written story." - The Newtown Review of Books

"Against an intricately-crafted tapestry of early nineteenth-century German daily life and tumultuous, tragic historical events, the story of star-crossed lovers Dortchen Wild and Wilhelm Grimm unfolds with a kind of dreamy, haunting precision." - Sophie Masson, author of Moonshine and Ashes

"Ultimately, this novel inhabits the ground between Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel. It is both entertaining and serious-minded, but it has about it too that little touch of magic that makes Kate Forsyth's voice so distinctive, so uniquely Kate. An absolute pleasure to read." - Kim Wilkins, author of Angel of Ruin

"The Wild Girl is in turns beautiful, deeply disturbing, evocative and of course, like any good fairy story romance, features a signature happy ending." - InkAshling

"Forsyth's skill as a storyteller makes the narrative a pleasure to read through, a joy of immersive reading." - The Bookonaut

"I recommend The Wild Girl for fans of fairy tales and fantasy primarily, but also to historical fiction reader and those interested in the early 1800s and the way life was lived then. Lovers of bittersweet romance will also enjoy the book." - Storybook Perfect

The information about The Wild Girl shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Valerie V. (Pennington, NJ)

The Wild Girl
For those in love with well-researched historical fiction and sweet romance, reading doesn't get much better than Kate Forsyth's novel, The Wild Girl. Within the pages lies an in-depth look into the life and turbulent times of the Brothers Grimm and the unfolding of a forbidden love story, that of Wilhelm Grimm. Neither endeavor has a certain ending. The Grimm brothers are so impoverished they can barely afford ink and the French are intent on blotting out all things German. To assure a "happily ever after" conclusion, for both the writing project and the relationship, much must be overcome: an over bearing and cruel father, sickness, poverty, war and death. Can anything positive prevail in Germany during this time of violent French occupation? You'll appreciate all things Grimm after reading this novel!

Deborah M. (Auburn Hills, MI)

Life is a fairy tale; or is it!
Do you love history? What about storytelling? Are you a romantic but a realist as well? This book is for you! I found it delightful and so well written. The story of Dortchen Wild and Wilhelm Grimm is set in the early 19th century while Napoleon is trying to conquer Europe. It feels like a fairy tale of its own, as in all fairy tales there is the evil/wicked antagonist in the being of Dortchen's abusive father. Dortchen and Wilhelm are the poor but happy protagonists who can't seem to make each other aware of their feelings. The story is filled with the beautiful telling's of what will become Grimm's fairy tales, and as in all fairy tales finally a happy ending for "The Wild Girl". Kate Forsyth's second book is a beautiful work of art. I enjoyed her first book, Bitter Greens but for me this is a winner.

Melissa M. (Leesburg, FL)

Grownup fairytales
I am so glad I received this as an ARC. It is spellbinding and a completely different fairytale than expected.

Pamela F. (Sun City West, AZ)

Wild Girl
OMG! Love this book...Okay, the author says that not much is know about the main character...but the information derived from the Grimm's diaries, letters and stories makes Dortchen a great main character. I wanted to know more about her, the Grimms and the Napoleonic wars. This makes a great book in my humble opinion because I love history. It is written very well in beautiful prose....If you love historical novels, fairy tales and/or romance...read this book!!!

Elise B. (Macedonia, OH)

The Wild Girl
The Wild Girl was an exceptionally well written novel about Dortchen Wild, wife of Wilhelm Grimm, of the Brother's Grimm. The story will appeal lovers of historical fiction, historical romance, as well as anybody who might enjoy finding the origins of many of their childhood fairy tales. Grimm's Fairy Tales is a household name, but reading about who the Grimm brothers were and how they lived was as fascinating as the fictional rendering of the life of Dortchen Wild. I have spent much time trying to determine what was fact and what was fiction in the story. I would have appreciated if the author, Kate Forsyth, would have spent a little more time at the end of the book listing the portions of the story which were fact based.

Amy M. (Southlake, TX)

The Wild Girl
The title, The Wild Girl, open your imagination for a great adventure in storytelling and I am not disappointed. I am still reading this advance reading copy from BookBrowse and am excited to finish it, but wanted other readers to get excited for a good book. The characters are memorable, especially 12 year old Dortchen Wild and all the Grimm brothers. The historical discussions about Napoleon Bonaparte are also interesting and informative. I look forward to sharing my this book with our teacher book club. This is storytelling at its best.

...16 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Kate Forsyth

Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling and award-winning author of more than twenty books, including The Witches of Eileanan and Rhiannon's Ride series. Her books have been published in 17 countries, including Japan, Poland, Spain and Turkey. Forsyth holds a doctorate in fairytale retellings from the University of Technology. She lives in Sydney, Australia. Visit her at www.kateforsyth.com.au

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