Women in War
A unique and intriguing collection of stories about European women and their struggles during the Second World War—inspired by fairy tales and nursery rhymes, but distorted by the war: What if Cinderella was really an accidental arsonist of great use to the French Resistance? Or an old woman from a bombed-out neighborhood in Holland finds shelter in a shoe shop and takes in some orphans? More
Other stories include:
Little Red Riding Hood: In Poland, a young woman working in a museum is forced to assist the Nazis in looting her country’s national heritage. She finds a way to hide some small treasures in her basket, smuggling them out to hide in the woods—she’s caught, but manages to slip from their grasp—what happens next?
Hansel and Gretel: A clever British woman grew up with a German father, but still has a German last name and the accompanying accent. Add to that a twin brother who is always in trouble, and she has difficulty finding work in England during the war. Her brother is already in jail, and others like her have been interred. She fears that she will be too, and soon—unless she can make her heritage useful . . .
Rapunzel: A Cornish manor of an ancient line has been requisitioned by the War Office and converted to a military hospital. A young woman is still living in the tower of the manor, even while severely wounded men and a throng of medical staff overrun her home. Only the worst come there to die out of sight, but she has a special gift, which has also been her family curse. In earlier days, people like her were burned . . . as witches.
Little Miss Muffet: A young British woman with few prospects or skills finds a job in a furniture shop repairing what the Germans have blown up—things 'salvaged' from the bombings, which some might call looting. She discovers that in one of the pieces of new furniture sent there to be refinished is a secret compartment containing some sort of military plans—furniture to be delivered to an embassy that is supposed to be neutral in the war. What can this mean? She investigates . . .
Snow White: In Serbia, the warring factions are brutal, and sometimes settling the ethnic rivalries of centuries before. In a village near Belgrade, a young woman learned the apothecary trade from her parents—former circus performers—and still runs their shop. Her parents are long dead, but when the circus magician comes for help, she gives him a job, though discovers that he’s using her shop for Black Market activities. Other friends of her parents need help escaping the persecution by the Nazis of anyone unusual or ill-formed—like circus performers, particularly the fat lady, the tall man and a handful of dwarves.