My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I can’t say that I enjoyed reading The True Story of Hansel and Gretel: A Novel of War and Survival. The subject matter and the setting (Poland at the end of World War II) was too grim (Grimm?) to be a fun read. However, it was very well written and kept me reading to the end… even when the plot involved things that normally would have had me giving up on a book.
I was fascinated by the fact that the author used the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale as the foundations for the story, using many of the details, characters and symbols from the fairy tale to enhance the book’s plot. And even though the overall tone of the book was dark, the author brought just enough hope into the narrative so the book wasn’t overly depressing or maudlin.
All in all, if you are the type of person who enjoys reading about life and the desperate need to survive during the devastation of World War II, then I can recommend this book. But if you are the type of person who wants something cheerful and light, then you should look elsewhere.