Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Briar Rose Mass Market Paperback – March 15, 2002
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
As for the book itself, Yolen does a lovely job of interweaving past and present, fairy tale and reality. "Gemma's" version of Briar Rose has long been one of my favorite modern retellings. There are some issues with the book--the shallowness of the minor characters, the inordinate convenience of Josef Potocki's appearance in the story--but these are easily brushed aside due to the cruel beauty of the fairy tale, which is indisputably the highlight of the novel. The only major problem is this:
Granted, the characters believed Gemma came to the US before the war. But. Are we truly to believe that a Jewish family descended from an Eastern European immigrant never made the connection between the details in Gemma's unique telling of Briar Rose and the Nazis? Big black boots, shiny silver eagles, deadly "mist", and no one but the heroine lives happily ever after, yet none of them picked up on the Nazi references?Read more ›
Briar Rose takes the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and links it to the Holocaust. Rebecca, the youngest of her grandmother Gemma's granddaughters, has grown up listening to Gemma's rendition of Sleeping Beauty. Upon Gemma's death, Rebecca realizes that the story is one of the few clues to Gemma's past, a past that Gemma makes her swear on her deathbed to discover. Her search carries her to Poland and into the heart of the horrors of the Holocaust.
The French gave us the word plot through "plait," which refers to the unraveling the reader must do as she reads. Imagine a plait of cloth lying horizontally with the loose part on the left (reading occurs left to right) as a closed book. Open the book, read and unravel, read and unravel. This is the task Gemma has given Becca: Unravel the past. The family knows nothing of Gemma's past. Her only clue is the fairy tale: Briar Rose, a new telling of Sleeping Beauty.
The audience knows the power of fairy tales to hide universal truths, that sometimes an external force, in the form of a handsome prince, defeats evil characters and their spells, and sometimes the inner power of the character is the impetus. Jane Yolen's brilliant retelling of Sleeping Beauty through Gemma's tale, is one novel in the Fairy Tales series begun by Terry Windling, in which writers retell a fairy tale in a modern setting. In this tale is hidden the evil of the Holocaust in one hideous castle run by Nazis, and one princess, Briar Rose, awakened by the power of a kiss. No more than that will I tell.
Yolen employs a favorite literary device in Gemma's telling of the tale. In the beginning chapters the reader is supposedly given the finished plait of the story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bonus points for making something not at all about the Holocaust about the Holocaust. Longest metaphor ever. Read morePublished 1 month ago by DA
I thought it would be different. It's dealing with a very difficult subject. It's told through the eyes of the granddaughter of Holocaust survivor. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Melkel
This book needs to be in every school in America, whether elementary or college. Far from just "another book about the Holocaust", this book celebrates the power of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Shannon Barnsley
How can a human mind process overwhelming atrocities? Is it easier to turn them into a fairy tale where it ends well?
I found this book both beautiful and tragic. Read more
Becca has always been caught by her grandmother’s interesting story of the fairy tale Briar Rose ever since she’s been little. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book incorporates past, present and a fairytale. The main character in this book, Becca makes a promise at her Gramma’s deathbed to find the castle that is talked about in the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bob Timmons