Review of Gretel on Her Own by Elna Holst
I had high hopes for this and it didn’t disappoint. If you follow my reviews you probably have heard about how much I enjoy retellings of fairytales, fables, and legends. But what I really love is when an author writes a “what happens after”. I love getting to find out what happens to these characters we grew up with when the big bad or excitement is over, and that is exactly what Holst did here. Not only did she put a great spin on what actually happened to Hansel and Gretel, but she also used her imagination to tell us how these characters are handling their past trauma and now adulthood.
I’m a big fan of how Holst writes. Her style is very unique and almost feels poetic at times. This is her second retelling and both stories have this old-timey feel, from her writing, that really puts you in a folktale feel. I think she has found a writing groove here that just really works and she is great at putting you right into the setting to make you feel like you really are in the middle of a fairytale.
This is a novella so I don’t want to touch on too much for fear of spoiling anything. I was actually really happy this was a novella because Holst’s last novella, In the Palm, was really well written so I had high hopes for this. It is not easy to write novellas and I feel like Holst was made for it. She has absolutely become one of my go-to writers for novellas and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
I would easily recommend this to readers who enjoy retellings and twists on fairytales. This was a lot of fun and really well done. It also has a bit of a romance and some twists and turns that just make the read really worth it. I hope Holst keeps writing these retellings, I think she has found her calling. 4.25 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for a review.