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 firesides of houses grand and small all 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.
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- Jennifer Jacoby
Powerful, bittersweet and enchanting
Powerful, bittersweet, and enchanting. For anyone who loves history, fairytales, and romance, this is your perfect book. For me in particular it was special, as the German setting brought me close to home.
I've never read any like it, which made it even more special. But thinking on this question made me think of Pan's Labyrinth, the film.
Oh, her voices were perfect for each character. I loved listening to her!
Yes, absolutely. I loved everything - save the treatment of the main character - the interweaving of love, storytelling, German folk culture, history and the war. Every detail, like the description of medicines and herbal remedies, added to the layered magic of this tale.
It was quite a tragic story in many ways, but don't all fairytales have an element of tragedy? The treatment of Dortchen by her father was very alarming at times, and I wondered how true this was to the real life of this family. There were moments I could scarcely listen and felt perhaps the author went too far, but perhaps my strong reaction to the story is what makes it such a great story. The ending was perfect!!