Alisha Marie's Reviews > The True Story of Hansel and Gretel

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy
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Jun 02, 11

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bookshelves: historical, wwii, books-i-own-that-i-ve-read
Read in May, 2011

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel was just one of those books that I had assumed I would love. It's set in World War II and those books intrigue me. And it's a retelling of one of the creepiest fairy tales ever, Hansel and Gretel. So, it should have been a win-win, right? Well, it sort of wasn't. Don't get me wrong, I liked it enough, but I just didn't love it the way I expected to.

One of the issues that I had with The True Story of Hansel and Gretel was how the parallels between the Grimms' story and this one were few and far between. In fact, if the book hadn't been called The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, I doubt I would have put two and two together (well that and the fact that the kids sort of adopted the names Hansel and Gretel). I'm spoiled in that the retellings I have read have all had a clear connection to the fairy tales they have originated from. The True Story of Hansel and Gretel...not so much.

However, I think the main reason that I didn't love The True Story of Hansel and Gretel was because I didn't feel that emotional tug as much as I usually do when reading books about WWII. That's not to say that the book wasn't sad because it without a doubt was, but I just wasn't bawling my eyes out the way I usually do when reading a book about this war. I also couldn't help comparing my emotional reaction from this book to the emotional reaction I had when reading The Book Thief. While I thought that The Book Thief was teeny bit overhyped, I'd be lying if I didn't say that the book was definitely more heartbreaking than The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, yet the latter was more gruesome.

Besides that, I did like The True Story of Hansel and Gretel. I thought Magda was a great character and I loved the relationship between Hansel and Gretel. It was definitely a sweet yet sad story. It's just not one that I found highly memorable when compared to other WWII books.
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