Jan 3, 2011

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel
Author:  Louise Murphy
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Penguin
Date Published:  July 29th 2003

From Goodreads:

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.

Combining classic themes of fairy tales and war literature, this haunting novel of journey and survival, of redemption and memory, powerfully depicts how war is experienced by families and especially by children, and tells a resonant, riveting story.


The True Story of Hansel and Gretel is a hard book to put down, as well as a hard book to digest.  The setting, Poland during War World 1 is a horrific time for the people living there.  The Germans occupied and ran everything, and so much brutality was happening in small little villages.  The True Story of Hansel and Gretel is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel turned up a notch. 

Author Louise Murphy's writing is really great.  I could see what these families were dealing with, I could feel there hopelessness, then hopefulness.  I hated the Nazis, I loved the children that didn't know better, or could hardly remember what life was like before the Germans came rushing in with there guns, and brutality. 

The ending is bittersweet, but I couldn't expect a pretty ending.  I completely feel for The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, and Louise Murphy's writing. 

It's amazing how hard it is to write a review for something you LOVED!

Just read it!


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