Book Review: The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth


This was a fantastic book! I loved the concept of writing a love story about Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild but I loved even better the execution of such a story.  I am completely unfamiliar with early 19th century history, the Napoleonic wars, and even (I’m ashamed to say) the creation of the Grimm fairy tales.  I knew some things and I knew of the speculation surrounding the Grimm Brothers but this book was written so well that whether the author knew what she was talking about or not, she made is realistic enough that I believed her!  In her afterword I discovered that she in fact did do her research.  Kate Forsyth not only researched the time period in which she was writing but also into the personal diaries or Dortchen and Wilhelm as well as studies of abuse victims in order to make her story even more believable.  This book invoked a lot of raw emotions, and at times I wanted to cry and scream.  But that is what good writing is all about.  (This next part may be considered spoilers for some, but it’s history so it has already happened and should not surprise anyone) I absolutely adored how Forsyth went about writing her own fairy tale.  It is a cliché to say that the couple had a happy ending but the fact that they did made all the work Wilhelm and Jakob put into the stories worthwhile.  They wanted to keep the old tales alive and in doing so they created a wholly new and wonderful story of their own.  This was a deeply moving and beautifully written book.  I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or anything to do with Grimms fairy tales.

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