Author(s): Kate Forsyth
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 a' The Grimm Brothers published a beautiful version of the Beauty and 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. 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.
Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling author of more than twenty books, including The Witches of Eileanan and Rhiannon's Ride series for adults, and The Puzzle Ring, The Gypsy Crown, and The Starthorn Tree for children. She has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including Best First Novel and a CYBIL Award in the US, five Aurealis Awards, and a CBCA Notable Book. Her books have been published in 13 different countries, including Japan, Poland, Spain and Turkey, and Kate is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairy tale retellings at the University of Technology and recently published Bitter Greens a retelling of the Rapunzel story. Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, A Mother's Offering to her Children.