Jess's Reviews > Briar Rose

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
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Apr 07, 09

bookshelves: historical-fiction, fairy-tales, world-war-two
Read in March, 2009

Going into it, I knew this was a combination of a retelling of Sleeping Beauty and a Holocaust story, which sounded odd but intriguing. What I didn't know was that most of the story is told through the frame of a present-day grand-daughter to the "Briar Rose" character. After the grandmother's death, she wants to learn more about her enigmatic grandmother who was forever telling the Sleeping Beauty story. I really liked the idea of this framework for telling the story and digging into history, and her visit to Poland was particularly memorable, but I never quite connected to any of the characters. The story is fairly short, and while I don't think it should have been longer, the characters didn't quite come to life in the space they had. Still, I would recommend this to anyone looking for an unusual fairy tale retelling or a Holocaust story told from a bit of a distance. It was hard to put down while I was in the story, but not terribly memorable after the fact.
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