The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy - Mini Book Review

One of my all-time favorite novels, The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy is historical fiction, paralleling the Brothers Grimm fairytale classic.

Set during the WWII Nazi invasion of Poland, two Jewish children are given the more Germanic sounding names, Hansel & Gretel, and sent willy-nilly into the woods by their father and step-mother. There they meet a witch, who risks her own life to give them comfort, as well as an assorted cast of villagers. The story flashes between the horrors outside the woods and the comfort of the witches’ cabin, juxtaposing the Grimm version. And while it remains bleakly true to the shocking atrocities of the era, it’s also lyrical in the telling.

Ms. Murphy is a gifted storyteller. The plot is powerfully driven, a real page-turner. Her characters are long suffering, but not overly sentimental or morose. The tale is dark, but entrancing, much like a car crash from which one can’t turn.

I literally could not put this book down. Anyone who likes historical fiction will LOVE this tale. I’m shocked that it didn't get more buzz.

Reading Guide and Author Interview from Penguin: HERE

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