4.25 stars. I have read a LOT of WWII stories but none quite like this. It is riveting but very harrowing and more graphic than most. It leaves you reeling as to what humans are capable of both in survival and in cruelty. The senseless bloodlust of the Nazi regime is depicted explicitly in this story so be warned. That said, understanding the horrors of war is important because despite being historical fiction, much of it is based on the author's research of true events.
A fascinating story of two abandoned Jewish children who take refuge in the hut of an old woman living in the woods - impacting in unforeseen ways the lives of the nearby villagers - is juxtaposed with the story of the children's father and step-mother who have escaped the Nazi's and are barely surviving in the forest, fighting with the resistance. Stark and brutal, an honest retelling of life in rural war-torn Poland 1943-45, with many painful details of Nazi cruelty. Framing that story on the tale of 'Hansel and Gretel' makes for an intriguing perspective; the children are especially well drawn, as is the old woman.
This is a great version of the story, Hansel and Gretel. It is very much like the original story, but in a different and more dangerous world. Both Hansel and Gretel are Jewish children in World War II, and they both are alone in the world. They meet this person who is known as a witch, but she is actually someone who protects them. The two kids must run and hide and fight their way around the Nazis as they try to get back to their parents.
This is a great book for anyone who needs a book to surprise them, or anyone who no longer believes in fairy tales.
This is a heartbreakingly beautiful book. I found it to be incredibly engaging, with characters that I truly cared about.
Really wonderful take on WWII with a dark, fairytale overlay.
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