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Extended Audio Sample Gretel and the Dark, by Eliza Granville Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Eliza Granville Narrator: Cassandra Campbell, Stefan Rudnick Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A captivating and atmospheric historical novel about a young girl in Nazi Germany, a psychoanalyst in fin-de-siècle Vienna, and the powerful mystery that links them together

Gretel and the Dark explores good and evil, hope and despair, showing how the primal thrills and horrors of the stories we learn as children can illuminate the darkest moments in history, in two rich, intertwining narratives that come together to form one exhilarating, page-turning read.

In 1899 Vienna, celebrated psychoanalyst Josef Breuer is about to encounter his strangest case yet: a mysterious, beautiful woman who claims to have no name, no feelings—to be, in fact, a machine. Intrigued, he tries to fathom the roots of her disturbance.

Years later, in Nazi-controlled Germany, Krysta plays alone while her papa works in the menacingly strange infirmary next door. Young, innocent, and fiercely stubborn, she retreats into a world of fairy tales, unable to see the danger closing in around her. When everything changes and the real world becomes as frightening as any of her stories, Krysta finds that her imagination holds powers beyond what she could ever have guessed.

Rich, compelling, and propulsively building to a dizzying final twist, Gretel and the Dark is a testament to the lifesaving power of the imagination and a mesmerizingly original story of redemption.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Dark and intriguing…A highly clever, original book.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “A powerful story, sensitively told…A terrifying tale about the stories we hear and the stories we tell ourselves to understand our experiences…It’s impossible not to find yourself racing through the pages, desperate to discover the connections…heartbreaking and heart-racing.”

    Times (London)

  • “Atmospheric and beautifully written…A subtle and thoughtful novel. It seems soon to call it, but Gretel and the Dark will be one of the best books of 2014.”

    List (London)

  • “As haunting, lyrical, and enchanting as the fairy tales Krysta is so taken with, Granville’s bittersweet first novel will keep readers hooked, guessing and wondering how Lilie and Krysta’s stories relate, right up to the end.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • Gretel and the Dark is a lyrical masterpiece of fantasy, horror, childhood innocence, and the evils of both our innermost imaginings and our shared history. The chilling, fantastical tale will simultaneously entertain and provoke serious contemplation on the depths of human depravity.”

    Shelf Awareness (starred review)

  • “This book weaves two stories: one set in Vienna in 1899, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki; the second set in Germany in the early 1940s, narrated by Cassandra Campbell. Having two narrators helps the listener follow two plots that become entwined as the story progresses. Rudnicki deftly portrays a staid psychoanalyst with a somewhat pedantic and detached attitude who encounters a puzzling patient in Vienna. Campbell portrays a naïve, young woman in Germany years later who lives in her imagination, which is full of dark fairy tales. Campbell’s steady narration intensifies the contrasts between appearance and reality, hope and despair as she creates an understated and haunting atmosphere. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “Granville weaves her two tales together through lush prose; her novel is both a thoroughly engaging journey into the darkest corners of humanity, as well as an illumination of the redemptive power of the imagination.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “In Gretel and the Dark, Eliza Granville masterfully entwines two richly layered and compelling stories of two seemingly different worlds. Filled with remarkable historical detail and stunning prose, both Krysta’s and Lilie’s stories captivated me, and Granville kept me quickly turning the pages to discover the connection between these two girls. By turns beautiful and frightening, magical and dark, this is a novel that will stay with me for a long time to come.”

    Jillian Cantor, author of Margot

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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About the Author

Eliza Granville was born in Worcestershire and currently lives in the Welsh Marches. Gretel and the Dark is her first novel.