Briar Rose (The Fairy Tale Series)by Jane Yolen
. . . Around the castle there grew a hedge of thorns, which every year grew higher, and at last there was nothing more to be seen, not even the flag upon the roof. But the story of the beautiful sleeping princess, Briar Rose, went about the country so that from time to time the King's sons came and tried to get through the thorny hedge . . . So goes the German fairy… See more details below
. . . Around the castle there grew a hedge of thorns, which every year grew higher, and at last there was nothing more to be seen, not even the flag upon the roof. But the story of the beautiful sleeping princess, Briar Rose, went about the country so that from time to time the King's sons came and tried to get through the thorny hedge . . . So goes the German fairy tale of Briar Rose, the Sleeping Beauty ... an old, old tale, yet so potent that few among us do not know it today. Now one of America's most celebrated writers tells it afresh, set this time in forests patrolled by the German army during World War II - a tale with no guarantee of an ending that reads they lived happily ever after. A young American journalist is drawn to Europe and to the past as she investigates the mystery of her grandmother's life. From her grandmother she inherited a silver ring, a photograph, and the traditional tale of Briar Rose: clues that will ultimately lead her to a distant land and an astonishing revelation of death and rebirth. The story of the Holocaust, like the story of Sleeping Beauty, is indeed familiar - yet such is a master storyteller's skill that along the way we learn the tale anew. This is a tale of life and death, of love and hate, despair and faith. A tale of castles and thorns and sharp barbed wire. This is Briar Rose.
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Briar RoseA Novel of the Fairy Tale Series
By Yolen, Jane
Tor BooksCopyright © 1993 Yolen, Jane
All right reserved.
"Gemma, tell your story again," Shana begged, putting her arms around her grandmother and breathing in that special smell of talcum and lemon that seemed to belong only to her.
"Which one?" Gemma asked, chopping the apples in the wooden bowl.
"You know," Shana said.
"Yes--you know," Sylvia added. Like her sister, she crowded close and let the talcum-lemon smell almost over-whelm her.
Baby Rebecca in the high chair banged her spoon against the cup. "Seepin Boot. Seepin Boot."
Shana made a face. Even when she had been little herself she'd never spoken in baby talk. Only full sentences; her mother swore to it.
"Seepin Boot." Gemma smiled. "All right."
The sisters nodded and stepped back a pace each, as if the story demanded their grandmother's face, not just her scent.
"Once upon a time," Gemma began, the older two girls whispering the opening with her, "which is all times and no times but not the very best of times, there was a castle. And in it lived a king who wanted nothing more in the world than a child.
" 'From your lips to God's ears,' the queen said each time the king talked of a baby. But the years went by and they had none."
"None, none, none," sang out Rebecca, banging her spoon on the cup with each word.
"Shut up!" Shana and Sylvia said inunison.
Gemma took the spoon and cup away and gave Rebecca a slice of apple instead. "Now one day, finally and at last and about time, the queen went to bed and gave birth to a baby girl with a crown of red hair." Gemma touched her own hair in which strands of white curled around the red like barbed wire. "The child's face was as beautiful as a wildflower and so the king named her..."
"Briar Rose," Sylvia and Shana breathed.
"Briar Rose," repeated Rebecca, only not nearly so clearly, her mouth being quite full of apple.
Copyright 1992 by Jane Yolen
Excerpted from Briar Rose by Yolen, Jane Copyright © 1993 by Yolen, Jane. Excerpted by permission.
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