The Wild Girl Synopsis
Dortchen Wild fell in love with Wilhelm Grimm the first time she saw him.
Growing up in the German kingdom of Hessen-Cassel in the early nineteenth century, Dortchen Wild is irresistibly drawn to the boy next door; the young and handsome fairy-tale scholar Wilhelm Grimm.
It is a time of war, tyranny and terror. Napolean Bonaparte wants to conquer all of Europe, and Hessen-Cassel is one of the first kingdoms to fall. Forced to live under oppressive French rule, the Grimm brothers decide to save the old tales that had once been told by the firesides of houses grand and small all over the land.
Dortchen knows many beautiful old stories, such as ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘The Frog King’ and ‘Six Swans’. As she tells them to Wilhelm, their love blossoms. Yet the Grimm family is desperately poor, and Dortchen’s father has other plans for his daughter. Marriage is an impossible dream.
Dortchen can only hope that happy endings are not just the stuff of fairy tales… (From the book cover)
The Wild Girl is another novel from Kate Forsyth that is terribly difficult to do justice to in a review. Just as in her previous novel Bitter Greens, Forsyth delves much deeper into the origins of the fairytales we grew up with, adding her innate sensitivity and passion for people to produce a very adult tale. She acknowledges the greatest characters are often born from hardship, and does not shy away from the brutality of life, in all its forms.