While Beauty Slept
by Elizabeth Blackwell
Time for another fairy tale retelling! You know I love them. In While Beauty Slept, Blackwell tackles the story of Sleeping Beauty through a historical rather than magical lens. It’s told through the point of view of Elise, a farm girl whose family is decimated by the plague and so she goes to the castle to look for a new start. Eventually she becomes handmaiden to the queen, and so witnesses Rose’s birth, the power struggles with the king’s aunt Millicent, their dramatic clash, and the way fear can erode personal relationships as well as a kingdom. It’s an interesting read, and despite Elise being ‘only’ a maid, she has more of an influence on events than just as ‘witness.’ I also like that she has a life of her own going on (her own secrets and struggles and heartbreaks) instead of it only being about the royal family. Elise is the narrator, and the framework is such that she’s an old woman finally telling this long-kept story to her great-granddaughter. Which, at times is not a believable framework since the story does get graphic about violence, sickness and sex. Also, even though I liked the story and consider it a good read, the link between Elise’s story and how that supposedly morphed into the Sleeping Beauty we all know is still a pretty thin one. And I saw the end coming from a mile away, which is always a bit of an anticlimax. But overall, still a good historical fiction read with dashes of intrigue and romance! Give it a whirl.
I give it 3.5/5 stars.
1. This past weekend the boy and I went to see a show called TITtalks. It was in the format of TED Talks, except all of the ‘experts’ were improv comedians and they had no idea before stepping on stage what topic & visual aids they would be assigned and have to do a talk on. It was hilarious. We caught it on the last day of its run, sadly, or I’d tell you fellow Austinites to go check it out. 2. I’ve got a thing in the works to be a guest on a local podcast here. I’m equal […]
Funny video of the week: Magic Tricks for Dogs. A magician makes a treat disappear, dogs reactions are priceless. Exciting of the week: the first trailer for The Giver. Loved this book as a kid, excited about the movie, disappointed they aren’t doing black and white for the beginning. Perfectly illustrated gaming community fallacy. Yup. Which is Worse: A Game of Thrones Spoiler, or Detention? A French mathematics teacher writes a spoiler from Game of Thrones on the board whenever his class gets too noisy. Genius. Pixel And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In The Gig Economy. A good read, […]
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know that last week I finally got matching frames for all of the different size prints I sell in my shop. That commenced a 2-afternoon photo shoot as I re-took the main listing photos for all of the prints, complete with frames and a little bit of staging with trinkets. I did the photo editing over the weekend, and now the new photos are live in the shop. Take a look: Of course, I’d forgotten that, while I still had actual copies of most prints listed in my shop, they are […]
Dreams & Shadows by C. Robert Cargill This is the story of Ewan, a boy stolen by the fairies as an infant, and Colby, a boy who meets a genie and makes a monumental wish. Their two stories, otherwordly in their own ways, intersect and change the course of both boys’ lives, and the delicate balance between our world and the realm of magic. This book is strange and moody and surprising. And it recognizes that all actions, even or especially magical ones, have consequences. The characters are pretty much all antiheroes, in that I wasn’t sure if I actually […]
Why I Don’t Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. So worth a read! Funny graphic of the week: What if You Let Your Cat Design Your Home. Cool tumblr of the week: Corpus Libris, books with bodies. Why You Actually Shouldn’t Keep Calm and Carry On. How To Tell People Things They Don’t Want To Hear. The Most Downloaded Books In Each State. Interesting. I must say I’m surprised by Texas’. Good on you, state, for going with a classic. Scientists Debunk The Myth That 10,000 Hours Of Practice Makes You An Expert. Successful People Start Before They’re Ready. Scared Of Failing? […]
Surprise! The redesign bug bit me hard this weekend, and I’ve revamped the look of the blog and the shop, complete with new logo. If you’re in an RSS reader or on Bloglovin, you may want to click over for the full effect. I’d been increasingly feeling that the old logo wasn’t really fitting anymore. This new one I think looks both more whimsical and more modern, which I love. The new background is actually one of the papers that I screen print on. I just popped it in my scanner and did some light editing. I like the airy, […]