Reading for a Lifetime Together


Waking Up
April 9, 2010, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Holocaust is an event that challenges the character of humanity.  When such an awful event is mixed together with a fairy tale, it is easy to gain perspective.

Briar Rose is the tale of a girl, Becca, climbing her family tree.  Her “Gemma” always told her the story of Sleeping Beauty as a girl, and right before Gemma dies, she whispers that she is Briar Rose.  A trunk of old documents, photographs, and newspaper clippings leads to Becca discovering an awful past she never knew her sweet gemma had.

The story has a slow beginning, especially if the reader is expecting an exciting start to such a deep plot, but when Josef tells Gemma’s story, in the second part of the book, the pages seem to fly by faster.  The connection to the Holocaust makes so much sense; it’s almost as if the story was written after the Holocaust.  That, however, is not the case.

With even the cover of the book, barbed wires with roses, showing just how similar the briars around the castle are to a barbed-wire fence around a concentration camp, this book is a thought-provoking story that causes readers to question the meanings of their favorite fairy tales.

I would recommend this book to lovers of fairy tales and to people who find the Holocaust a horrifyingly fascinating even in history.  The parallel between the two is fascinating.

-Gabriela Zamfir

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