June 6, 2008

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

By Louise Murphy
2003, Penguin Group (USA)

This was the most recent selection for my local book club, and it was rough. It’s a re-telling of the Hansel and Gretel story originally written by the Grimm Brothers, but this version is set in Poland and the end of WWII. It’s the story of two Jewish children who are taken in by an old woman outside a village, and it also follows the story of their father who joins the resistance not knowing if his kids are alive or not.
If you enjoy reading stories about people’s lives during the Holocaust and WWII, this is a great example of that. It really does a good job a telling these characters’ stories. You can imagine what it was like to live in this small Polish town while the Nazi’s advantage was declining and they were getting more desperate and cruel. It wasn’t one I would normally read because I like to read books that don’t make me sad or make me think, and this one did both of those things. I think I would recommend it, but I’d say know what you’re getting into.

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