Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
Becca has been enchanted by her Grandmother Gemma’s story of Briar Rose since she was a child. At Gemma’s deathbed, Becca makes a promise to her, a promise leads Becca to Poland, discovering Gemma’s past and the truth behind Gemma’s claim to be Briar Rose.
“That castle is yours. It is all I have to leave you. You must find it. The castle in the sleeping woods. Promise me.” (pg. 19)
This is a powerful, touching retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story. Before reading it, I couldn’t imagine how Yolen would connect the fairy tale with the Holocaust, but the wall of thorns becomes barbed wire, the prince has a real-life counterpart and the truth of the sleeping spell is a horrible reality.
I shy away from Holocaust literature in general. I’m always worried that it will be too depressing, although so many of the stories, like Briar Rose, end in redemption and hope. Gemma, as the princess, is both a victim and a heroine, as were so many individuals. She loses everything in the sleeping wood, her memories, her identity, her true love, but manages to build a new life for herself and her daughter.
I was enchanted by the story from the beginning. Even though it dealt with a horrific subject, it was short and simply told. Beautiful, really.
I borrowed my copy from the library. I am an Amazon Associate.
Great review – this sounds like a fantastic novel. I am putting it on my TBR list!
This sounds like a really interesting retelling!
I generally don’t like fairy tale retellings, but this one sounds really good to me.
I just got this book in the mail last week. I need to read this soon!
That is exactly how I felt! I couldn’t figure out how Yolen was going to connect the Holocaust and Sleeping Beauty, but it turned out perfectly.
I like re-tellings and this one sounds beautiful, and haunting. But should be read
I’d love to read this. That’s just an amazing cover-that was the first thing I had noticed on it a few weeks back.
I like the fairy tale aspect but, like you, I tend to avoid Holocaust stories. I love the fall header. Beautiful.
I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while. I’m glad to hear it’s not depressing despite the subject matter. Would it be okay to link to your review on War Through the Generations?
I love this book this book is one of my favorits books i ever read thanks for makeing this wonderful book jane yolen
I neaver like to read the retelling of a story untill my best bf Monik seid to try and read this it chaned the way I felt. of thigs and if i hade t choose one book i would choos this