(US / UK cover with links)
Gretel and the Dark: A Novel by Eliza Granville is released this week in North America. It was released this past February in the UK, see Gretel and the Dark: UK edition.
It's been a little while since I've seen a Hansel and Gretel and WWII retelling. The two are such a perfect match for each other for obvious reasons. It's a very small but potent subgenre of fairy tale retellings.
Book description Gretel and the Dark: A Novel: US Edition:
A captivating and atmospheric historical novel about a young girl in Nazi Germany, a psychoanalyst in fin-de-siècle Vienna, and the powerful mystery that links them together.
Gretel and the Dark explores good and evil, hope and despair, showing how the primal thrills and horrors of the stories we learn as children can illuminate the darkest moments in history, in two rich, intertwining narratives that come together to form one exhilarating, page-turning read. In 1899 Vienna, celebrated psychoanalyst Josef Breuer is about to encounter his strangest case yet: a mysterious, beautiful woman who claims to have no name, no feelings—to be, in fact, a machine. Intrigued, he tries to fathom the roots of her disturbance.
Years later, in Nazi-controlled Germany, Krysta plays alone while her papa works in the menacingly strange infirmary next door. Young, innocent, and fiercely stubborn, she retreats into a world of fairy tales, unable to see the danger closing in around her. When everything changes and the real world becomes as frightening as any of her stories, Krysta finds that her imagination holds powers beyond what she could ever have guessed.
Rich, compelling, and propulsively building to a dizzying final twist, Gretel and the Dark is a testament to the lifesaving power of the imagination and a mesmerizingly original story of redemption.
Book description for Gretel and the Dark: UK edition:
Gretel and the Dark is Eliza Granville's dazzling novel of darkness, evil - and hope.
For fans of Markus Zusak's The Book Thief and Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth.
Vienna, 1899. Josef Breuer - celebrated psychoanalyst - is about to encounter his strangest case yet. Found by the lunatic asylum, thin, head shaved, she claims to have no name, no feelings - to be, in fact, not even human. Intrigued, Breuer determines to fathom the roots of her disturbance.
Years later, in Germany, we meet Krysta. Krysta's Papa is busy working in the infirmary with the 'animal people', so little Krysta plays alone, lost in the stories of Hansel and Gretel, the Pied Piper, and more. And when everything changes and the real world around her becomes as frightening as any fairy tale, Krysta finds that her imagination holds powers beyond what she could have ever guessed . . .
Eliza Granville was born in Worcestershire and now lives in the Welsh Marches. She has had a life-long fascination with the enduring quality of fairytales and their symbolism, and the idea for Gretel and the Dark was sparked when she became interested in the emphasis placed on these stories during the Third Reich.