From the critics
From Library Staff
The word "haunting" only begins to touch on the feel of this tale. The real world version of the Sleeping Beauty tale that our narrator's grandmother experienced is slowly uncovered during this dark and utterly engrossing multiple-point-of-view story.
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Becca grew up listening to her grandmother, Gemma, retell the story of Briar Rose (also known as Sleeping Beauty) over and over again. Now that Becca is older, she visits Gemma in the nursing home nearly everyday. One of the last things that Gemma says to Becca before she passes is "I am Briar Rose." Knowing that Briar Rose was only a story, but believing in her grandmother, Becca sets out on a journey to find out where Gemma came from and how she came to America in the midst of World War II.
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"This is a book of fiction. All the characters are made up. Happy-ever-after is a fairy tale notion, not history. I know of no woman who escaped from Chelmno alive."
And yet this telling is how it could have been. Stark and steeped in fairy tale notions.
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