Unabridged Chick

I'm Audra, a 30-something married lesbian. I love interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.
While Beauty Slept - Elizabeth  Blackwell

Full review here.

 

I read this in December and liked it enough, but found the heroine occasionally maddening.  (Mostly because she wouldn't just marry the guy I wanted her to.)  But with some distance, the remaining feel of the novel isn't our heroine's romantic misadventures (which isn't the point of this book) but rather, the sad and admirable dedication to service.  It's no Remains of the Day nor isn't meant to be, but there's something bittersweet about a novel inspired by a fairy tale that includes a kind of happily ever after-ish that feels more nuanced and realistic.

 

The novel's premise follows the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale -- struggling royal couple finally conceive, evil witch curses the baby, spinning wheels are destroyed, curse eventually manifests -- and includes the obligatory twist! end.  (The twist worked for me and while I didn't particularly see it coming, it is probably guessable.) 

 

Interestingly, I got this to review for the Historical Novel Society, as it is being marketed as a historical novel.  Really, it's just a fantasy, I think -- the setting isn't any where historical or real -- but there isn't magic in this book.  So it's ambigu-historical?