Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Coming Soon: "The Beast's Garden" by Kate Forsyth

Here's an intriguing sounding book to keep an eye out for: a new retelling of Grimm's Beauty and the Beast, set in Nazi Germany, by fairy tale scholar and writer Kate Forsyth! (Author of The Wild Girl, Bitter Greens and many more.)

Here's the description from Random House publishing:
Linderhof castle, Bavaria, Germany
A retelling of the Grimm's Beauty and The Beast set in Nazi Germany. 
‘I fell in love the night the Nazis first showed their true nature to the world …'  
The Grimm Brothers published a beautiful version of the Beauty & the Beast tale called ‘The Singing, Springing Lark' in 1819. It combines the well-known story of a daughter who marries a beast in order to save her father with another key fairy tale motif, the search for the lost bridegroom. In ‘The Singing, Springing Lark,' the daughter grows to love her beast but unwittingly betrays him and he is turned into a dove. She follows the trail of blood and white feathers he leaves behind him for seven years, and, when she loses the trail, seeks help from the sun, the moon, and the four winds. Eventually she battles an evil enchantress and saves her husband, breaking the enchantment and turning him back into a man.  
Kate Forsyth retells this German fairy tale as an historical novel set in Berlin during the Third Reich. A young woman marries a Nazi officer in order to save her father, but fears her new husband and the regime for which he works. 
Soldier picking flowers
Ava becomes involved with an underground resistance movement in Berlin called the Red Orchestra, made up of artists, writers, diplomats and journalists, who pass on intelligence to the American embassy, distribute leaflets encouraging opposition to Hitler, and help people in danger from the Nazis to escape the country.  
Gradually Ava comes to realise that her husband Leo is part of a dangerous military conspiracy that plans to assassinate Hitler. As Berlin is bombed into ruins, and the Gestapo ruthlessly hunt down all resistance to Nazism, Ava unwittingly betrays Leo. When the Valkyrie plot fails, Leo is arrested and Ava must flee. Living hand-to-mouth in the rubble of Berlin, she must find some way to rescue her husband before he and his fellow conspirators are executed.  
The Beast's Garden is a compelling and beautiful love story, filled with drama, intrigue and heartbreak, taking place between 1938 and 1945 in Berlin, Germany. 
When will it appear? Release date in Australia is set for July 29th, 2015, according to the website, though Kate's blog cites an earlier date of "late April 2015".

International dates (including UK and US) are yet to be announced.

In the meantime, to further whet your appetite, may I suggest looking through the inspirational images Kate has pinned to her The Beast's Garden page on Pinterest. (Some of those inspirations are posted here.)
Lions Gate Tiergarten Berlin

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