Book: Briar Rose

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Briar Rose

Author: Jane Yolen
Publisher: Tor Teen

…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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