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Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
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Briar Rose (1992)

by Jane Yolen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Fairy Tale Series

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,041853,271 (4.01)216
  1. 30
    Deerskin by Robin McKinley (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
  2. 00
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: YA-geared fiction relating to the Holocaust
  3. 00
    The Final Solution. A Story of Detection by Michael Chabon (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two stories that intertwine characters from elsewhere with the Holocaust. Both are affecting in their own ways.
  4. 00
    Damned Strong Love: The True Story of Willi G. and Stefan K. : A Novel by Lutz van Dijk (Jenson_AKA_DL)
    Jenson_AKA_DL: Although one book is fiction and the other a true account there are many similarities between the story told in the latter part of "Briar Rose" and the whole story of "Damned Strong Love" for those who may be interested.
  5. 00
    The Seduction of Water by Carol Goodman (kraaivrouw)
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» See also 216 mentions

English (84)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
Unlike her older sisters, twenty-something Becca has always loved the story of Briar Rose as it was told by her grandmother “Gemma”. Just before Gemma died, she told Becca “I am Briar Rose.” Gemma extracted Becca's promise to find the castle and the prince. After Gemma's death, her family realized how little they knew about her background before she arrived in the United States. They weren't even sure of her name. With the encouragement of her editor, Becca puts her journalistic skills to work as she tries to discover Gemma's origins. Her search takes Becca to some surprising places and uncovers some harsh truths.

Although the subject matter is heavy, Yolen doesn't lose sight of her YA audience. The “light at the end of the tunnel” is in view even in the darkest parts of the story. It wouldn't be a fairy tale without the possibility of “happily ever after”! The novel loses its momentum during Josef's story. It takes 3 ½ chapters to get to the point where he met Gemma. I had grown impatient by then. While the Nazi persecution of groups other than Jews (Josef was homosexual) will be of interest to many, that isn't Gemma's story. The shift in focus seems out of place. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Apr 11, 2015 |
Challenging because of its Holocaust setting, yet engaging in its originality. This take on the Sleeping Beauty tale is dark and tragic and haunting but brings such depth to the themes and symbols of the fairy tale. I'll be forever touched by having read this book. My only issue came in the addition (and very pat ending) of a present-day romance that lent nothing at all to the original tale. The book would have been better without such a commonplace (overwrought) story element. Thankfully, this was a very minor piece of an otherwise captivating tale. Jane Yolen's BRIAR ROSE does justice to Charles Perrault's story and adds great depth by setting it in one of history's darkest times. ( )
  phrenetic.mind | Dec 30, 2014 |
I find it hard to rate this book because I found it so terribly depressing. I don't want to say I "liked" it, because I didn't, per se. I am not happy that I read it, but I don't think it was a waste of time, either. The way the stories intertwined was interesting and it was well written (I believe) but I won't be reading it again. Definitely not something to read if you need a pick-me-up. ( )
  kateminasian | Nov 22, 2014 |
Don't let this book fool you. It may be young adult. It may be a quick read, but the subject matter and the crafty way in which it was written is absolutely brilliant. On her deathbed, Grandma "Gemma" makes youngest granddaughter, Becca, promise to learn the story of Gemma's past. She claims to be the real Briar Rose. Along with her two older sisters, Becca has heard the fairy tale of Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty all her life. It's the only bedtime story Gemma would ever tell. Now Becca believes there is some similarities between the princess and her very own grandmother. Could Gemma really be Sleeping Beauty? Keeping the promise she made to her grandmother and with the help of a journalist friend, Becca sets out to uncover the mystery. The clues take her to Poland, specifically Chelmno, Hitler's extermination camp during the Holocaust. Becca meets Josef Potacki and the pieces fall into place. Woven throughout Becca's story is Gemma's bedtime story and Josef's story of survival. The present and past mesh together to tell a deeply moving tale of courage and love. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Aug 25, 2014 |
Jane Yolen developed an unlikely premise of melding the Sleeping Beauty story with the Holocaust and created magic. Becca's grandmother has died, leaving a mystery surrounding her identity. The clues are an oft-told bedtime story and a box of relics. This story tweaked my genealogy, history and mystery interests all at the same time. The author walks on sensitive ground here and it's sensitively told. The style may be geared to younger readers but it comes with mature-enough dialogue, scenes and situations to satisfy any adult. The "kids" can handle it (its back cover recommends 13 and up). They need to. Probably the best YA novel I've read, and one of the best novels I've read this year. ( )
  Cecrow | Aug 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Yolenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Canty,ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Windling, TerriCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"...(B)oth the oral and the literary forms of the fairy tale are grounded in history: they emanate from specific struggles to humanize bestial and barbaric forces, which have terrorized our minds and communities in concrete ways, threatening to destroy free will and human compassion. The fairy tale sets out to conquer this concrete terror through metaphors." --Jack Snipes, "Spells of Enchantment"
Dedication
For Charles and MaryAnn De Lint
and Susan Swartz - Just Because

With Special Thanks to Barbara Diamond Goldin, Staszek Radosh, Linda Mannheim, Betsy Pucci, Peter Gherlone, Mary Teifke, Alissa Gehan, Susan Landau, and Scott Scanlon for their research help. Any mistakes made in the presentation of that material are mine alone.
First words
"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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765342308, Mass Market Paperback)

A powerful retelling of Sleeping Beauty that is "heartbreaking and heartwarming."

An American Library Association "100 Best Books for Teens"
An American Library Association "Best Books for Young Adults"

Ever since she was a child, Rebecca has been enchanted by her grandmother Gemma's stories about Briar Rose. But a promise Rebecca makes to her dying grandmother will lead her on a remarkable journey to uncover the truth of Gemma's astonishing claim: I am Briar Rose. A journey that will lead her to unspeakable brutality and horror. But also to redemption and hope.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The tale of Sleeping Beauty and the dark tale of the Holocaust twined together in a story of darkness and redemption.

» see all 2 descriptions

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