The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

[a Novel of War and Survival]

Book - 2003
Average Rating:
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A poignant and suspenseful retelling of a classic fairy tale set in a war-torn world

In the last months of the Nazi occupation of Poland, two children are left by their father and stepmother to find safety in a dense forest. Because their real names will reveal their Jewishness, they are renamed "Hansel" and "Gretel." They wander in the woods until they are taken in by Magda, an eccentric and stubborn old woman called "witch" by the nearby villagers. Magda is determined to save them, even as a German officer arrives in the village with his own plans for the children. Louise Murphy's haunting novel of journey and survival, of redemption and memory, powerfully depicts how war is experienced by families and especially by children.

"Lyrical, haunting, unforgettable." -- Kirkus Reviews  

"No reader who picks up this inspiring novel will put it down until the final pages, in which redemption is not a fairy tale ending but a heartening message of hope." -- Publishers Weekly

Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2003
ISBN: 9780142003077
Branch Call Number: F MUR NVD
Characteristics: 297, 12 p. ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: True story of Hansel and Gretel

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r
RavenIsland
Jan 27, 2014

A fascinating story of two abandoned Jewish children who take refuge in the hut of an old woman living in the woods - impacting in unforeseen ways the lives of the nearby villagers - is juxtaposed with the story of the children's father and step-mother who have escaped the Nazi's and are barely surviving in the forest, fighting with the resistance. Stark and brutal, an honest retelling of life in rural war-torn Poland 1943-45, with many painful details of Nazi cruelty. Framing that story on the tale of 'Hansel and Gretel' makes for an intriguing perspective; the children are especially well drawn, as is the old woman.

v
veravincit
Feb 12, 2011

This is a great version of the story, Hansel and Gretel. It is very much like the original story, but in a different and more dangerous world. Both Hansel and Gretel are Jewish children in World War II, and they both are alone in the world. They meet this person who is known as a witch, but she is actually someone who protects them. The two kids must run and hide and fight their way around the Nazis as they try to get back to their parents.
This is a great book for anyone who needs a book to surprise them, or anyone who no longer believes in fairy tales.

j
joyeousness
Sep 10, 2010

This is a heartbreakingly beautiful book. I found it to be incredibly engaging, with characters that I truly cared about.

l
Librarianne
Jul 28, 2010

Really wonderful take on WWII with a dark, fairytale overlay.

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