Saturday 3 July 2010

War Story

Finished June 28
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel: a novel of war and survival by Louise Murphy
Two young children, brother and sister are left in the woods by their father and stepmother who are fleeing from the Germans in the last months of World War II. To hide their identity as Jews, the two are told their names are now Hansel and Gretel.
On their travels through the woods, the two eventually encounter a house lived in by Magda, an eccentric old woman known to local villagers as the witch. Despite the urging of others, Magda takes in the two children as her grandchildren. She receives help from family members in hiding the real identity of the children, and trying to give them a normal life. When a new German General comes to town with his own agenda for some of the children, things become even more difficult for the villagers.
With a close look at the difficult lives of villagers during this time period, history comes to life. But the added element of the Hansel and Gretel story adds another dimension to the story.
A fascinating and engrossing novel. This book was a San Francisco Chroncile Best Book of the Year.

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