Wednesday, June 9, 2010
One of the advantages of having a house is having room to have books on bookselves rather than in boxes. So, whenever there is a bad TV night, like last night I am able to go to the bookself and pick up a book I have never read, or one I have read, but is good enough that I want to re-read. It is amazing how many books I have that I honestly don't remember reading. Yesterday, around four I picked up a book called "The True Story of Hansel and Gretel" by Louise Murphy.
Amazon review states: The stepmother persuades the father to abandon the children in the forest, where they find shelter in the cottage of a witch, who locks them in a cage. It's the scariest of all fairy tales, and it's retold here with gripping realism as a Holocaust novel set in Poland near the end of World War II. Murphy brings the genocide history up close through the horrifying daily experience of 11-year-old Jewish Gretel and her younger brother, who save each other from the worst with the help of a few brave villagers. The Grimms' story is always there like a dark shadow intensifying the drama as the searing narrative transforms the old archetypes. The stepmother and the Romani witch are quiet heroes who sacrifice themselves to save the children, while their father is with the partisan army, desperate to find his family. The children may follow the trail home in the end, but the gruesome reality in the village and the forest prevents any sentimental uplift. The witch does land up in the oven, in a concentration camp.
I was still reading at eleven, I had to force myself to put it down, I don't know the ending, I am only about three-fourths through, but it was really hard to put down.