Fee the servant to the abusive Dunkel Hammer in the principality of Quellestadt sacrifices her own happiness to protect her mistress the young Besse even as she has to forfend the punishment of her brother Peter who has attempted to rob a merchant caravan. Dunkel has made life miserable for many people including his wife who hides in her tower home chamber brushing her long blonde hair to attract a lover who climbs to her from the outside and a young desperate boy who has sold his last cow for the equivalent of beans and claims to be his son. Meanwhile the dauphin Charles scolds his friend Hans for seeking to save damsels in distress among whom is Besse. Ultimately there is a fire and Charles must determine the guilty parties in the death that ensues even as he helps save La Claire daughter of the Duke of Burgundy from her vain stepmother. Which of these and others will become legend enshrined in fairy tales?
Elliot Francke is a consultant physician in infectious diseases in private practice in Minnesota where he lives with his understanding wife and best friend of thirty-eight years Cheryl. His interest in the tales of the Grimm Brothers and others dates from childhood but his curiosity about the tales' origins was kindled by a visit with his son at the University of Southern California and a discussion about film themes. After historical research the idea for the plot of Upon a Time began to develop. The first-time author is grateful for the encouragement of his wife three children friends and readers and most especially the editor and publisher of this book.
"The intricacy of the fairy-tale subplots is commendable and careful readers will enjoy spotting allusions large and small."-Kirkus Reviews
"An ambitious . . . undertaking that melds new characters and familiar tales."-Kirkus Reviews
"Elliot Francke has a fairy-tale with words that grab your attention and will not let it go until the last word. I thoroughly enjoyed the book."-Barbara Allan
"Every generation has its own fairy tales. This one is ours."-Ronald Glasser M.D. author of 365 Days and Ward 402
"Intriguing and Educational. I could not put it down."-Jeanine Speier MD