Becca has grown up on the tale of Briar Rose that her grandmother Gemma has told her and her sisters over and over again. It is only at the end of Gemma's life that Becca comes to find there is more to the story than just a fairytale to entertain children. A box is found in her grandmother's possessions that no one in the family had ever seen before, with keepsakes that are a mystery to them all. Determined to unravel the secrets of her beloved Gemma's past, Becca undertakes the search to learn the truth behind the story of Briar Rose, and who her grandmother really was. She follows the clues to Poland, where she finally finds someone who can tell her the whole story.
Briar Rose is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with the Holocaust as a backdrop, and at first I was a little fearful of revisiting this time period in my "entertainment" reading. Yolen's storytelling quickly drew me in however, and with Becca, I wanted to know what happened, how had Gemma gotten to America, and what was her real name, her past?
This is my first Jane Yolen novel to read, though I have several others on Mount TBR. I'll definitely be reading more, and recommend Briar Rose as an interesting and sobering twist on the Sleeping Beauty story.
For more information on this award winning author, visit Jane Yolen's Official Website