Throwback Thursday – September 14th -The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

throwback-thursday


This week’s Pick is…

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel 

by Louise Murphy

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Blurb: 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. Combining classic themes of fairy tales and war literature, this haunting novel of journey and survival, of redemption and memory, powerfully depicts how war is experienced by families and especially by children, and tells a resonant, riveting story.

My thoughts…

It’s nearly the end of the Nazi occupation of Poland and a father must abandon his children near a forest so that they can search for safety from the Germans. On the journey, they meet Magda, the so-called village witch. Magda is willing to risk her life and others to keep the children safe.

“The wheel turns. Blue above, green below, we wonder a long way, but love is what the cup of our soul contains when we leave the world and the flesh. This we will drink forever. I know. I am Magna. I am the witch.”

Hansel and Gretel has been a favorite fairy tale since childhood. It was most definitely one of the scariest. The way the author has taken the fairy tale, re-imagined it, and paired it with the evil nightmare of WWII is fascinating. The story feels so authentic. It’s incredible to me how the author has a way of keeping to the original story of Hansel and Gretel throughout, consistently hovering around elements true to the original fairy tale.

The story itself is dark and twisted and highlights the true evil doing against the Jewish, Gypsies, and dissidents during WWII. It was nothing like what I expected. I had an idea of the plot, but there’s so much more to the story. Parts of the story were so hard to get through, but I loved the characters especially Magda, Nelka, Telek, Hansel, and Gretel. Magna was surely my most prized character. The beautiful prose and specific elements reminded me of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, which is one of my favorite books of 2017.

There are discussion questions and an interview with the author at the conclusion which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m not sure why it’s listed as having 320 pages. My book has 297 plus a few more for interview and discussion.

This book gets 5-stars from me…

5 Sterne


 

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Paperback: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition (July 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142003077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142003077

 

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More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Cathy at Between the Lines

Julie at Novel Thrills and Chills

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Noriko at Book Fiend

Amy at NovelGossip

Lynne at Fictionophile

Nicki at The Secret Library Site

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Caryl at Mrs Bloggs Books

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Annie at The Misstery

Katie at Katie Creative Writer Blog

Rebecca at Boofsbooks


Do you have a throwback to share? Thanks for reading!

27 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday – September 14th -The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy

  1. David R. Dowdy

    It’s clever how writers adapt fairy tales. This one looks good because we blithely go through life and have no clue the terror that’s visited people until we read about it.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s way too many and many need to be taken off. 450 seems manageable and I’d feel comfortable with that number! I have a trigger finger when it comes to books, lol. 🙂 Hope you’re enjoying your Sunday! 💕

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        2. Lol!! I’m taking a lunch break outside in the sun watching Kayley play with Onyx, then it’s back to grading some of my student’s essays before I start working on writing my essay that’s due Fri…😯 I think I now have 4/25 pgs. That’s progress…maybe… I do hope you’re Sunday is more relaxing than mine, lol.🤗 Around here the schoolwork never ends…either mine or my students, haha 😞😩

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: the end of the year book tag – coffeeloving bookoholic

  3. Good one! I hadn’t heard of it, but I love the tale of Hansel and Gretel. I may have to look into this one, although I am a bit squeamish about anything related to war time stories. Good review. Love seeing it as a throwback and all the other blogs you highlighted. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, James. It isn’t horribly detailed with what’s happening with the war as the events are mainly taking place near a village. There are some eerie parts though. It wasn’t really what I expected, but I was happy with it. You’ll have to let me know if you decide to read it. I know our TBRs are overflowing as it is. 😉

      Hope you have a fun vacation coming up. Excited for you! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

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