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Publisher's Summary

As a little girl, Rebecca Berlin loved listening to her grandmother, Gemma, tell the fairy tale of Briar Rose. Now, as Gemma lies on her deathbed, a grown-up Rebecca asks her to tell the story one last time. Instead Gemma makes a startling confession that forever changes the fairy tale for Rebecca. Pulling her granddaughter close, Gemma whispers, "I am Briar Rose."

Her family thinks she is delirious. But Rebecca senses Gemma is telling the truth. To prove it, she embarks on a journey from modern-day New York to wartime Poland, to the ruins of a Nazi death camp. What Rebecca discovers there is more than a fairy tale come to life. It is an extraordinary revelation of courage, compassion, and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

©1992 Jane Yolen (P)1996 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about Briar Rose

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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not a happy reader

I found it distracting, how much the writer seems to hate women. I expect a female author to create amazing female characters. i felt the author was being catty and petty to the women she wrote. I was disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

I was Moved so deeply by this book! It was incredible to go through the journey with Becca on her way to discovering her heritage and grandmothers past. It speaks to how important it is to the soul to know where you came from and the pull you feel to connect to your family's past; where you come from.

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Better than expected

My husband and I listened together and loved it we highly recommend it, especially if you know some of history.

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Heart Wrenching

I would leave it as just the title but there is a minimum word count.

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Thoroughly enjoyed

Well written and expertly narrated. I thoroughly enjoyed this story linking past and present. I was so surprised to learn about Fort Oswego & it’s role during WWII. Especially because I live nearby in Rochester NY. This story is hard to hear, but also important to hear for awareness of atrocities committed. It will stick with me.

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Story is okay but sound quality is horrible

There are major sections of the book that have terrible sound quality. Sounds like it’s raining and there are people talking in the background. Really bad, makes it hard to listen to. The story gets better once the main character goes to Poland, but the beginning is a bit vapid. It’s worth hanging in there, story-wise, but the sound quality is almost a deal-breaker.

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A Tale of Survival

The only way someone can truly get the feeling of a historical time is through a narrative or historical fiction. Briar Rose truly captures the perspectives of those persecuted in Poland during World War II. Becca grew up listening to the fairytale as told by her grandmother Gemma. She knew it was more than a fairytale to Gemma and the only clue to Gemma’s past. She promises Gemma as her grandmother is dying that she will find the castle, the prince and the spell-maker in her life. The journey Becca takes reveals much as she learns all her grandmother endured.
#tagsgiving #sweepstakes #Holocaust #World War II #Gay persecution #family history #Poland history

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Awesome rendition

Becca Berlin makes a commitment to her Gemma, who is waiting on the stairs of death, to find the missing puzzle pieces of a childhood fairytale and bring it to reality. Unbeknownst to Becca, this vow sends her on a mysterious voyage, in a faraway land, to uncover the authenticity of her grandmother's rendition of Sleeping Beauty. But when the answers become more questions can she put it all together and find the truth. Yolen writes an effective and heart wrenching story about the trials and tribulations that were endured during one of the darkest times in history, and the LOVE one can have for another.

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Fairytale without fantasy

If you could sum up Briar Rose in three words, what would they be?

Educational not entertaining

Any additional comments?

Not having read the blurbs and other comments, I was a little surprised. Not fantasy at all except for using the Sleeping Beauty scaffolding. I'd place the book in holocaust studies and subtitle it The Gay Prince and the Alternative Kiss. The quest part felt more like a stage setting for the final lecture.