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Reflections on Briar Rose

I just finished this book that left me horrified... Horrified in what it covered. Horrified in what happened to real people... living, breathing human beings. While the story is fiction, it shows true horrors. I, of course, knew about the Holocaust. But it felt distant, unfamiliar to me. Knowing facts isn't the same as immersing yourself in the stories. Now, it feels familiar. Too familiar. 

It was a wonderful book.

It's strange how I should read this book just after being blessed with a lovely but sad new story. Though based in a completely fictional, futuristic place, the story deals with oppression. It's not to the same horrifying degree, but some of the smaller details are ironic: red-head heroine, a killed love, a pregnancy. And the living on, if sadly, ever after. I have owned this book for at least 6 years before reading it days after the dream. As I've thought many times... God certainly has a sense of the ironic

There's much to be taken from this story, but I had a personal epiphany that has little to do with the horrors directly and more to do with me. I'm leaving this here not to teach anyone else, definitely not to say this is the most important thing to be taken from the story, but as something to come back to for myself when I will - time and time again - undoubtedly need it. It is actually quite upsetting, so if you're reading this having not read the book, you should stop. But here is the note to myself from the Vanessa part of myself, blunt, as always: "If Avenger could fall in love with Ksiȩźiniczka covered in blood, vomit, and feces, then, surely, there will be someone to love you through your petty hormone dysfunctions, no matter how bad they are."