Book Review: While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell

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Dear Bookworms,

This weeks read is a fairytale retelling (insert happy girl squeal here). I can’t get enough of a good fairytale retelling and While Beauty Slept did not disappoint.

Everyone has heard the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Beautiful Princess, stricken with a sleeping spell that was broken by true loves kiss. Time has muddled the details, but Elise Dalriss was there, and the truth is not quite what is shared in girlish sighs of fancies across the kingdom. Now an aging great grandmother, she retells the story, for the first time, to her great granddaughter. As a young girl of 14, after surviving the pox, Elise heads out to the castle in search of work as a servant. Quickly rising the ranks within the servant hierarchy, Elise finds herself, poor farm girl, as personal attendant to the Queen. So begins Elise’s journey of self discovery, growing from a poor, sheltered country girl into a confident women within the court, friend and confidant to the Queen and Princess Rose. As Elise knows all too well, the real world is no fairytale and sometimes our happy endings are what we make of them.

Honestly people, I loved this book. Fans of Wicked or the Lunar Chronicles will enjoy this read for sure. I loved how this classic tale was told from the perspective of Elise, an attendant to the queen and focused on her life; her loves and losses, sacrifices and redemption’s. While Rose played a significant part in her life and the choices she made, Rose was not the main star of the novel. A more realistic portrayal, there is no magic or potions but it still has the same backbone as the original that we all know and love. I admired Elises’ devotion and loyalty to her charges, even at the repudiation of her own wants and needs. She was such a strong and resilient character and while her tale was fraught with self sacrifice, she loved fiercely, and in the end, she had her version of happily ever after. The end of the novel takes an unexpected turn and I won’t spoil anything, but I will say I was pleasantly surprised with the ending for our ladies. As far as the writing, Blackwell delivers a beautifully written tale, rich in imagery and emotion. Her words have a way of coming alive on the paper. I felt as if I was walking the halls of the castle with Elise, my heart quickened with the beginning of true love and felt the loss of it as well.

Ok, enough from me already, just go check it out from the library. Or head to the bookstore. Or order it from Amazon. However you get your books, get it!

Blackwell has a new release coming out February 1st, In the Shadow of Lakecrest, and y’all can bet I’m setting up my Amazon preorder now! Check out her website here so you don’t miss any exciting news!    

See ya next week friends!




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Real-life bookworm with a taste for adventure. Coco enjoys reading as much as she enjoys good coffee. Coco is an experienced book reader, and expert book reviewer. If you need a book reviewed, you are in good hands.

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