Becca grew up listening to her grandmother, Gemma, tell the story of sleeping beauty. The story was haunting yet Becca and her sisters never tired of hearing it. Then, Gemma dies leaving behind a box of photos, news clippings, and other objects that are keys to unlocking the past that she kept hidden from her family. Becca has never known who her grandfather is or where Gemma came from. Before Gemma died, Becca made a promise to her that she would find out about her past. That promise sends her on a plane to Poland to figure out who her grandmother was. There is so much more to the story but the suspense is one of the best parts and I don't want to spoil it!
The story is set around the Holocaust and has some descriptions that really get to you. I had never read about the Holocaust in such depth and it was extremely scary and sad. Jane Yolen did an amazing job writing this story and the ending is really great. It changed my views on many things when I heard about the kind of experiences Gemma went through. I can not imagine what I would feel if I was in Becca's situation as she learned about her grandmother. It is such a harsh story but at the same time is filled with a kind of bitter triumph. I know that this story isn't true but it really put things in perspective and made me extremely grateful for my life and the things that I normally take for granted. I would highly recommend this book.