Monday, January 14, 2008

Briar Rose -A Thorny Situation

Ok, so I started Briar Rose by Jane Yolen and I have to say so far it's a little confusing. It's not the contents of the's more so the way it is organized. The story goes back and forth between the past and present in order for the reader to get the whole story, but sometimes I can't tell when it's the past or the present and it's a little tricky.


Chapters 1-3

The first chapter begins with Gemma babysitting her three granddaughters Sylvia, Shana, and Becca. They ask for a story, a story they know by heart, known as Briar Rose. Yolen starts the book this way to let the reader know that the girls enjoyed the story at one time and were very close with their grandmother.

The second chapter starts what is the present with Gemma in a nursing home and the sisters (who have grown apart) going to visit her. Becca is the only one who has kept in touch with Gemma and visits her almost everyday while the other two have moved out of state and made lives for themselves. It's not really said if Gemma recognizes the girls, but she starts to tell them the story they loved when they were younger. However, as she starts the story Sylvia exclaims, "not that again" (11). Both Shana and Sylvia are very uncomfortable while with their grandmother and offend Becca many times while being there. They're sisters, however Shana and Sylvia resemble how stepsisters treat Cinderella, they are mean and ruthless. They also treat Gemma terribly as shown by Slyvia's response to Gemma's story and the fact that Gemma believes that she is Briar Rose. Both Slyvia and Shana think she is crazy and they also believe that Becca is nuts for believing Gemma's claims about being Briar Rose which also adds to their wickedness.

The third chapter is another flash black to their childhood and to Gemma telling Becca the story before bed. There isn't much to this chapter, however it does add to the closeness between Gemma and Becca which seems to be very important to the story line. Maybe Gemma is Becca's fairy godmother in deguise helping her to sirvive her life with two mean sisters.

Well, we'll find out.

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