Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Fairy Tale, Young Adult
Source: I purchased a copy


I absolutely loved this book. This is a retelling of the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel with a Holocaust twist. A Jewish family fleeing the Nazis must make a real-life decision. They stop and drop their children off near a forest and tell them to run into the forest and hide. They are then to make their way through the forest, find a kind farmer who will take them in until they can be reunited again. From the very beginning you get the feeling that the step-mother doesn't like them. However, this book is darker than the original fairy-tale because of it's connection to the Holocaust. The children stumble upon a woman the village accuses of being a witch. The love she has for the children is obvious. There were surprises around each corner as you read. Full of tension this book takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride. Will the young active boy give them all away?  Will the young girl be able to control him?  Even that had a dark and unexpected twist to it. I found myself irritated everytime I was interrupted because I needed to find out how this would turn out.  Most of Grimm's Fairy tales didn't have a Disney type happy ending. That is probably why I enjoyed them so much. This author had all the darkness you would expect when reading a story involving the Holocaust yet was just as much about hope.  I highly recommend this book. Great for the older teens to adults due to very mature scenes.

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