Abandon Them

This thing claims to be a psychological examination of the act of abandonment that sets in motion the story of Hansel and Gretel. I'm afraid I find it nothing of the sort. It's a very short thing, on rails, in which none of the choices reveal very much of anything at all other than, perhaps, a superficial idea of the mother feeling guilty for the act. We're never put in her shoes, however: what we get may be sufficient for characterisation, but not for an exploration of any depth.

The story is organised into three chapters in which we follow first the Woodcutter, then his children (while being deliberately vague as to whether the "you" here refers to Hansel or Gretel), and finally a ... Herbalist, who is either going to be the witch in the story, or else is some total outsider. In between chapters, the story addresses itself directly to the reader. First, it introduces the idea that putting down a story is in itself an act of abandonment, and are we okay with this; and then it asks us why we keep reading.

It does not explore any of this any further. It does not actually relate, on an emotional level, the experience of the reader with the experience of the characters -- unless that's what the Herbalist's chapter is meant to be, but I rather think it failed. Connecting a reader to a fictional character requires a bit more than what we've got here. I think we were beginning on that road with the Woodcutter, but then we were forced to abandon him (hah!) before we could even begin to connect with him. The "abandonment" thus has no impact. You can't abandon what was never yours to cherish.

Also, I found the font unpleasant and difficult to read.

As a breakfast, this might be a crust of bread and a cup of ale left over from last night's feast. A shadow of what it once was, it fails to satisfy.