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Briar Rose is a historically sensitive retelling of Sleeping Beauty set amid forests patrolled by the German army during World War II.
In the heat of midsummer 1942, deep in a forest in the heart of Poland, Briar Rose arrives at a castle that has fallen into the hands of an evil army. Corrupted by dark deeds and choked by a poisonous mist, the castle will soon come to be known as Chelmno extermination camp. And in that place of death, Briar Rose is plunged into a deep sleep....
Ever since she was a child, Rebecca has been enchanted by her grandmother Gemma's stories of Briar Rose. Becca would have sworn the stories were made up, but on her deathbed Gemma extracts from Becca a promise to fulfill three impossible requests: find the castle, find the prince, and find the spell-maker. Her vow sends Becca on a remarkable journey to uncover the truth of Gemma's astonishing claim: I am Briar Rose.
Yolen's graceful retelling of the German folktale of “Briar Rose”known to some as “Sleeping Beauty”sets the story amid forests patrolled by the German army during World War II. Yolen confronts the deeply tragic events of the Holocaust with lyrical prose and rich characterizations that tell a tale of good and evil, hope and despair.
The Washington Post called Briar Rose “a terrifically moving story.”
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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.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book Briar Rose is heart touching amazing story about a young girl's adventure to figure out the story of her passed grandmother’s life. She travels across the world and speaks with many people to figure it out. She looks through her grandmother’s belongings to figure out her story, because she didn’t tell anyone anything while she was alive. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to people who enjoy a good story about a calm, but interesting, adventure. I wouldn’t recommend this book to people who enjoy horror books or thriller books. This book was very good and I would suggest buying it.