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Publisher's 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 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.

©2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2015 Blackstone Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

heartwrenchingly amazing

could not put it "down. Excited to read more from this author. Narrator Kate Reading nails it, again:-)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Bittersweet story, fantastic reader

I had debated on this book for some time just not quite sure about it from the description. But because Kate Reading was narrating, I finally gave it a try. And so glad I did!

One of the amazing things about voice actor Reading is that I forget there is s narrator. I just get completely lost in the story. Yes, she has unique character voices, a smooth narration, and all the other hallmarks we look for in a reader. But the story comes first, and it shines in the best possible light.

This bittersweet tale could have been one of the brothers Grimm own tales. It weaves through hardship after hardship, to end with a triumph against the odds. A story to encourage perseverance and hope.

While there were no notes regarding historical accuracy, it does take place in Westphalia before and after Napoleon's rise to power. And I think to myself: It seems a realistic picture of what it might have been like as an average person living through war torn times in the 19th century. Some nice details for the historical clothing fans out there. Enough visuals overall, that I recall it as one might a movie.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful, bittersweet and enchanting

If you could sum up The Wild Girl in three words, what would they be?

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.

What other book might you compare The Wild Girl to and why?

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.

What does Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Oh, her voices were perfect for each character. I loved listening to her!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

Any additional comments?

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!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Difficult read, but worth it

This book contains an important story, but the time period of the book and the place saw little that was pleasant due to war, famine, and disease. But the abuse caused me to want the book to hurry up and be over so I could listen to something less disturbing. Having said that, the story was very well written and superbly narrated by my favorite female narrator. I found this book by searching for books narrated by Kate Reading:)

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • kem
  • Centreville, VA United States
  • 01-12-18

Painful

I so wanted to like this book especially once I had read the description , as it seemed like such an interesting topic and a novel and new approach to explore something so many of us not only grew up with but have since learned the true stories of. Who doesn't know of the Grimm brothers and their work but it dragged on for hours with what I consider to be an extraordinary amount of filler. Nothing ever got better, nothing ever changed, and things only got worse- and I suppose I simply reached my tolerance for this long before I was given a reprieve. Additionally, the character of the family father was rather disturbing and I think emphasized perhaps a bit too much at times. Much of the book was depressing and I had to leave it alone for weeks at a time and gear myself up to go back and try to finish it. This is the first time that has ever happened to me since I learned to read at the age of five. Perhaps this would've been a different experience if I had actually read the book versus tried to listen to it but that would be to blame the narrator and that seems unfair as I believe she did the best she could with the material she was given. The last seven or eight chapters of the book finally pick up in a way that you are engaged and rooting for the main characters but I think we could've gotten to this point long before then and still been satisfied overall.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Got better with every chapter

This book will have you reaching for your children’s book of fairy tales.

I don’t know how much truth there is in it vs poetic license but I’m in absolute awe of KF’s forethought about the original stories.

The story of Deutchen (spelling?) and Wilhelm could easily be a modern one, but the sad fact of life is that those tragedies which plagued them have indeed been around for many centuries.

I found this book to be very informative, if not of reliable information then at least in a way that opened my mind in a way it never had before.

Another Stella performance by KR.