I got Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville at a library book sale. It seemed super interesting! I mean, read this from the excerpt on the back:
Vienna, 1899. Josef Breuer, a celebrated psychoanalyst, 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, Krysta retreats into a world of fairy tales unable to see the danger closing in around her.Gretel and the Dark
I mean, I shared a good bit of the story of Gretel and the Dark above. It’s a pretty accurate representation of the novel itself. There are a couple of additional characters in Josef’s story, and a few in Krysta’s as well.
The novel shares the two story lines in alternating chapters. Krysta is honestly a spoiled little child. I probably should have picked up on it sooner, but you come to learn that her father is a Nazi, working in a Nazi camp. They refer to the Jews as “animals,” so Krysta’s young mind thought it was a zoo.
Josef’s half isn’t terribly interesting. It does take place before Krysta’s, so the feelings towards Jews is just starting. The thing about Josef’s story that’s the worst though is him forcing himself on young Lilie, and using his money to abuse the station of poor young Benjamin.
Just A Mess.
Honestly, Gretel and the Dark was a mess. I finished reading it, and immediately put it into the pile that’s going to 2nd & Charles. The last hundred pages or so were fairly decent, but not enough to warrant the first 200 pages of nonsense. There’s a reason it’s less than $5 on Amazon.
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