The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise MurphyA 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 Murphys 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
Hansel and Gretel #Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel Reader’s Guide
The origins of the Hansel and Gretel story has a reasonably short historical lineage. It belongs to a group of European tales especially prevalent in the Baltic regions, about children who outwit witches or ogres into whose hands they have involuntarily fallen. Deserting children in the forest to die, or leaving them to fend for themselves was certainly not unknown during the Late Middle Ages — and it is no small coincidence that the children are starving when they discover the gingerbread house. For the Brothers Grimm , collecting tales of distinctly Germanic origin was a way of preserving their own cultural identity at a time when the French Emperor Napoleon was taking over vast swathes of Europe. This was part of a more general trend in the nineteenth century, whereby folk stories garnered substantial interest, seen to represent a pure form of national literature and culture; deriving from the common folk Volk.
Next to a great forest there lived a poor woodcutter with his wife and his two children. The boy's name was Hansel and the girl's name was Gretel. He had but little to eat, and once, when a great famine came to the land, he could no longer provide even their daily bread.
Reading Guide. Jul 29, ISBN A poignant and suspenseful retelling of a classic fairy tale set in a war-torn world, for readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz , We Were the Lucky Ones , and Lilac Girls 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. Magda is determined to save them, even as a German officer arrives in the village with his own plans for the children. She is a regular contributor to numerous literary and poetry journals.