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While Beauty Slept
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While Beauty Slept

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  2,729 ratings  ·  580 reviews
The Truth is No Fairy Tale.

I am not the sort of person about whom stories are told. Those of humble birth suffer their heartbreaks and celebrate their triumphs unnoticed by the bards, leaving no trace in the fables of their time....

And so begins Elise Dalriss's story

When she hears her great-granddaughter recount a tale about a beautiful princess awakened by a handsome pr

Hardcover, 432 pages
Published February 20th 2014 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published February 20th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Annette (booknerderie)
Have you ever stood in line for a ride {Tower of Terror, perhaps}? Have you ever felt overcome with anticipation? Have you heard the screams of the thrill seekers before you, wanting to know what they know, allowing it to build up the excitement inside of you? Then comes the ride and you're completely and utterly awash with happiness that you were not let down? This book...was NOTHING like that. It was more like standing in line at Walmart. Shuffling idly, letting your eyes peruse the candy that ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
I love fairy tale re-imaginings. I like seeing how a story teller can take core elements and then make it into something entirely new and entertaining. I really didn’t like this re-imagining as it really wasn’t one.

What I expected was more along the lines of
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But what I got was
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The story is told by a grandmother to her favorite grandchild. I thought I’d get some new insight into the story through this telling but instead it seemed like the story could have been of almost any servant in any c
Ginger ~Honorary Mantis Shrimp Mermaid~
****ARC recieved with Thanks from GoodReads First Reads****

This book just made me happy.
I adore her writing style, taking it back to not just content but a certain art work the way the words flow. I would have liked reading it out loud.

Elise was just so real to me. I LOVE my kickarse heroines but Elise had her own quiet kick.
She was strong and knew what she wanted, did what she needed to do and didn't cry about it all the time (and I will love her forever for that simple reason)! She went throu
*****Received with thanks from Goodreads Firstreads*****

Where do I begin? I LOVED this book! It has easily become one of my favorites.

This is an imagined story of the true events surrounding the well know fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. It was so much better than I even expected....the synopsis of this book does not do it justice!

Elise is born to a life on the farm, a life she detests. Her dream is to go work in the castle....a dream that becomes her reality when her family falls to the Pox. Here we
Noelle VanVleet
Imagine you're a 17-year-old girl, and you're telling an old lady's life story. But you're telling it from your perspective, like you're 65 years old. That's what this book is like.

It's told from the perspective of an old woman, but she remembers all the tiny details of the story as if it all is happening right now, in this moment. And she's giving gloomy hind-sight hints, which add a sense of futility to the story rather than suspense or foreboding. You're like, is ANYBODY going to be okay by
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I raced through this book -- I think I started it around noon and finished it before dinner time -- and it was a satisfying, emotional read. I love fairy tale retellings, and Blackwell's is solid.

I've been struggling with this review only because I don't know where to start with the squeeing and gushing. I actually read this book in December and my estimation of has grown since then. (Also, this is a good reminder to never put off reviews!)

Blackwell's setting is an ambigu-medieval world, vaguely

Una historia preciosa, dulce, oscura y dura.

Un retelling realista de un cuento de hadas.

El final me sorprendió, tiene un giro inesperado y aunque cuenta con su dosis de felices por siempre, todo está cubierto por una película de realidad agridulce, eso es lo que hace a la historia inolvidable.

Lo disfruté mucho, me gustó mucho y todavía estoy lagrimeando, conmovida por las páginas finales.
I so wanted to like this retelling of an old fairy tale. I was on the hold list at the library for a long time to get this. Now that I've read it, I feel extremely disappointed.

A poor little country waif rises to run the kingdom, to come and go as she pleases into the king's and queen's rooms, gives advice freely to the king for which he is always so grateful for, uncovers conspiracy, gains confidences and marries well, not just once, but twice, and so on and so on. It was so fluffy.

This was t
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"While Beauty Slept" is a wholly original fairytale retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Oh guys, I love a good fairytale retelling. I love seeing an old favorite story turned on its head into something new and fantastic. This book is definitely one of those. The story is told from the perspective of Elise, a servant in the household of the Queen and the King, who are fighting for their reign. Not all is happy in this world. The Queen seems to be potentially barren and it is imperative that she provide ...more
BRILLIANT....! I absolutely LOVED this story. I have always been a huge fan of fairy tales gone wrong - the stories that tell the supposed "truth" behind the happily ever afters that are told to children. This is the story of Sleeping Beauty told through the eyes and life of Beauty's close companion. It has all the elements of a great fairy tale - royalty, tragedy, rescue, even romance - but the elements are grounded in a base of gritty reality. It is easy to see how the details of this story, t ...more
Lissett  S Ordosgoitti
"Mágico", esta es la palabra que mejor describe este libro. *-*

A pesar de ser un retelling de la Bella Durmiente la historia no se centra precisamente en dicha protagonista, sino en Elise un personaje digno de admirar por su valentía y lealtad, que pesé a estar marcada por la tragedia vivió grandes momentos de felicidad.

La historia atrapa desde que empiezas a leer el prólogo hasta culminar en el epílogo. La trama resulta muy interesante porque muestra momentos de traición, conspiración, romanc
The tale of Sleeping Beauty is a widely-known fairytale about a beautiful princess cursed by a wicked sorceress and a kingdom held in thrall. Elizabeth Blackwell takes the traditional legend and toys with a more realistic situation in which the princess and her kingdom could have found themselves. A vindictive royal aunt and a deadly plague come into play in this fascinating retelling of a beloved story, and is told from a refreshing perspective.

Elise was born on an impoverished farm in a backwa
☔Diane S.
3.5 Not my usual type of read, but it is written by a young author from the Chicago area, and I could not resist. Found it was very much my kind of read, because instead of a classic retelling of the Sleeping Beauty, it was written in the style of historical fiction. Very well written too. Sometimes it is good to branch out, in this case I am glad I did.
Molly T
I was really excited to read this book…and maybe that was its downfall. It disappointed from the the start. What could have been an awesome story was horribly written and somehow managed to plod along too slow and too fast at the same time.

Elise is telling the story to her granddaughter so there is hindsight. And Blackwell doesn't let us forget that. Every other sentence is "If I had known then…" and "the terror she would bring to the castle" and yet for me, that big moment where all the fears
Apr 21, 2014 Holly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
*3.5 stars

Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite Disney films so I was excited to read this re-telling. I liked the 'behind-the-scenes' look into what really happened to Beauty. Told by Elise, companion to the princess, whom I liked more at the beginning of the story than towards the end. Sometimes her story was too much at the forefront than the royals, which I guess I was expecting more from them. Also, too much foreshadowing! That quickly got annoying. I also thought there were times that noth
Lily (Lily Pond Reads)
Original Post:


Let me tell you. Not at all what I had expected. When I read the summary of this book on Penguin's website, I loved the fact that the book was written through the lens of historical fiction and retelling it as if it could have really happened. Gone are the fairies, the dragon and evil magic and replaced by something more realistic and dark.

The story is told from Elise's point of view. A young woman who grew up on a farm, survived the on

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt

This is a wonderful retelling of an age old fairy tale that gives plausibility to the story. It seems that retooling fairy tales has become the new thing, yet most do not live up to the old standard. While Beauty Slept does more than justice to the tale of Sleeping Beauty, it brings more character and life to the story. Not only does this book explain the story, it also adds more twists and turns to it to bring even more
Natasha GJ Nanny Nakia
Reseñado en mi blog Nanny Books

Quiero ponerlo bien grande, para que todo el mundo se entere, aunque no se lean la reseña por completo ni aunque hayan estado buscando este libro en el blog:

Me he enamorado perdidamente de esta novela.

Bien. ¿Se ha entendido? Genial. Entonces, sigamos.
Mientras las princesas duermen es una historia que convierte el cuento de La bella durmiente en una novela realista. Tanto por la narrativa, como por los personajes y por la temática, esta novela es encantadora.
Wonderful!!!! I love reimagining fairy tales but this author has done something a little different. This is written more like historical fiction given how she has removed all the magical and witch elements of Sleeping Beauty and tells the "real" account of what happens to Princess Rose and her kingdom.

As told through Elise to her great granddaughter about her life spent in the royal castle as Queen Lenore's attendant and about her fierce friendship to Princess Rose she explains is not a tale for
JoAnne Pulcino

Elizabeth Blackwell

Recently I’ve felt that I have had my fill of royal historical fiction, but this one appealed to me as a “truthful” retelling of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. Told from the viewpoint of Elise Dalriss, a poor farm girl who through hard work and her ability to read and write rises to the position of the private maid of the queen and the legendary princess. The book begins as Ms Dalriss is telling her great granddaughter her version of the story as she lived i
This is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty (the Disney version). However, this is a bit different than the retellings we are used to getting. Usually there is a mix of what kind of magic or in a different magical place, however, this retelling is a "what if" kind. What if there was a real historical story behind Sleeping Beauty? What if all the magic is taken out of it and was substituted with real life historical problems?

We see this story through the eyes of Elise a girl who was raised on a farm b
While Beauty Slept is a difficult book to review because part of its charm lies in the unfolding of its well-known story. To spoil any bit of the story would be to ruin its impact and the pleasure derived from experiencing it.

That Rose ends up being a secondary character to Elise’s primary one is an unexpected twist given the title and the subject matter. It does not diminish one’s enjoyment of the story, nor does it thoroughly enhance it. Rose is a weak character, pampered, sheltered within an
A beautifully told story. I was captivated from beginning to end. The characters were charming and the story had interesting twists and turns to it. It was a very imaginative retelling of a familiar story.
Tracy Hollander
4.5 An amazing retelling of sleeping beauty. I have read a few other retold fairy tales but this one by far has been the best.
Debbie Lester
While Beauty Slept has been touted as a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty fairy-tale. It is written by Elizabeth Blackwell and though there are elements of the original tale, this story is so much more than your average re-telling. It has substance, emotion and brings back the original Grimm's fairy-tale feel. It does not rely on a happy ending and is more believable and realistic than the Disney classics most of us grew up with. A wonderfully, refreshing story that will have readers more interested ...more
Readers should be prepared to be lost in a fantastic story, one based on the well loved fairy tale Sleeping Beauty in Elizabeth Blackwell’s gorgeous debut, While Beauty Slept. Treated with a deft hand the focus of this novel is on historical fiction rather than fantasy. When Elise Darliss’s great grand-daughter discovers treasures long kept secret in a trunk shortly after being captivated by the story of a princess awaked by loves true kiss, Elise decides she must tell the tale of her life. Once ...more
Mientras las princesas duermen de Elizabeth Blackwell hace referencia al cuento de hadas de La Bella Durmiente desde el punto de vista pragmático de Elise, primera acompañante de la reina Leonor, madre de Rose, también conocida como Aurora o la Bella Durmiente. La voz narrativa de Elise es hasta cierto punto competente, sin embargo, hubo momentos en los que creía leer desde la perspectiva de una adolescente. Por desgracia, a pesar de que el tecnicismo en la prosa está bien empleado, la autora ec ...more
Katrina Tinnon
While Beauty Slept is a great retelling. I haven't read many alternate stories of Sleeping Beauty, so this one piqued my interest.

Elise is a character that takes loyalty very seriously. She even pushes away her own desires in order to serve the queen and princess. She doesn't have many friends because of her quick advancement in the ranks at the castle, but she doesn't really feel like she needs any. She's there for the queen at some of her darkest times, and protects Rose as she would h
I like fairy tale retellings, and this is a good one. It removes much of the magic of the classic and replaces it with an interesting, realistic twist. Wanda McCaddon narrates beautifully; she's excellent at reading with voices that reflect the age of the speaker, and she ages voices of the characters so seamlessly that we hardly notice, except to know that it sounds right. Blackwell's re-imagining of the familiar story of Sleeping Beauty plays with familiar tropes but twists them a bit. Especia ...more
I have read many adaptions on fairy tale stories which is starting to make a stronger appearance in the book world. I love this. Fairy tales always make for good reading. Plus I like to see how creative the author can get with these tales. However I have to say that I really liked the way that Mrs. Blackwell put her own twist on this classic tale of Sleeping Beauty. It did not feel like a remake but like the original. I like how Mrs. Blackwell made Beauty human like as if she really did exist in ...more
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Any other good fairy tale retellings? 29 73 Jul 10, 2015 12:37PM  
Didn't anyone else find the ending completely disappointing? 3 36 Aug 02, 2014 09:50PM  
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As the daughter of a U.S. Foreign Service officer, Elizabeth Blackwell grew up in Washington, D.C., interspersed with stints in Africa, the Middle East and Europe--pretty much always with a book in hand. She majored in history at Northwestern University (hooray! more reading!) and received her master's in journalism from Columbia University, which led to a career as an editor and writer for a numb ...more
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