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Sleeping Helena ePub download

by Erzebet YellowBoy

  • Author: Erzebet YellowBoy
  • ISBN: 160701212X
  • ISBN13: 978-1607012122
  • ePub: 1243 kb | FB2: 1455 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Publisher: Prime Books (November 16, 2010)
  • Pages: 304
  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Votes: 644
  • Format: rtf mobi lrf docx
Sleeping Helena ePub download

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FREE shipping on qualifying offers. What does a girl do with eight gifted and meddling aunts, one of whom can see into the future.

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by. YellowBoy, Erzebet. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books.

Orphaned at birth, Helena receives eight gifts from eight extraordinary aunts.

product description page. Sleeping Helena - by Erzebet Yellowboy (Paperback).

What does a girl do with eight gifted and meddling aunts, one of whom can see into the future, yet who cannot escape the curses of the past? The answer is: not much, for someone has conspired to put the girl and her aunts to sleep for one hundred years. Unlike the traditional tale of Sleeping Beauty, however, Sleeping Helena's years flow backwards — back in time to a fateful day that changed not only the lives of her family, but of an entire nation. No prince, but a King's own lover will find the beauty in her chamber. While the fate of the nation has been decided and cannot be undone, the fate of the family rests on a lover's kiss, and what Helena will do should she awake.
What happens when we're given too many gifts: beauty, wit, music, dance? What's sacrificed in the making of the whole? When Helena is gifted by her aunts with all the traits to make an attractive and successful woman, there's little room for personal growth, for things like compassion, appreciation, and love. But one aunt's gift is a riddle--a riddle that hints of death, the other aunts think, that hints of life, Helena believes. Sleeping Helena follows this Beauty on her quest for an answer to the last gift, entangling her in Aunt Kitty's own purpose in the riddled gift, a need to return to the past to change it.

But can we change the past? Or do we relive it to learn and to change ourselves in the process? Halfway through Sleeping Helena, I paused to ask, "How, how, did the author come up with this retelling?" This is no simple wicked aunt; there is no fairy-tale prince with a healing kiss. Kitty is tortured with the loss in her past, spending her life trying to return to fix it. Helena is fixed on her quest, falling in love too with someone each would give her life to save. And I could never anticipate what would happen next as the mystery twisted and unfolded.

Erzebet Yellowboy's prose is impeccable--clean and unaffected yet poetic, with lasting images and mesmerizing repetitions, as the past and present blend and repeat. Early in the novel, she describes Helena peaking into their kitchen on a snowy night, startled to find King Ludwig II at their table. "Snow had melted from their cloaks and slid down their boots, creating little lakes of fresh water on the stone floor at their feet." A single image that lasted in Aunt Kitty's mind, that becomes indelible in the reader's mind.

And when the image later returns, it strikes powerfully, with that deep knowing without explanation, of sensing Kitty, in that place, in that time, and in memory, and mingled in it the history of a king and the love of a brother. As the novel moves on, memories repeat, giving the feeling of something piling up near breaking, as if memory can break open, like the mirrors in the house, removed to keep the past at bay or to protect the future, like the single mirror that Helena discovers.

Sleeping Helena is a beautiful, imaginative, evocative retelling of a legend I always loved but which has now been transformed and deepened, coming closer to life though set in the place of memory and dreaming.
"Sleeping Helena" is a new take on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale. YellowBoy knows her fairy tales well, and is active in writing and editing a magazine of new fairy stories.
Here, the Beauty is not so likeable as the traditional princess Briar Rose. The gifts that her aunts have bestowed upon Helena make her accomplished, beautiful, but cold.
The story really focuses on personal loss and family, and deals with twists in time. The magical old aunts are memorable and the story even features an appearance by "Mad" King Ludwig of castle-building fame. "Sleeping Helena" will leave the reader amused, thoughtful and surprised.
In Erzebet Yellowboy's "Sleeping Helena" we find a radical departure from the familiar Grimm's fairytale.

Helena is indeed a beauty, but a beauty magically bestowed. Adopted into a household of maiden "aunts" after her mother dies in childbirth, she is gifted by her magical aunts with virtues to heighten her potentials in various ways. This ceremony reveals a tension and dark past in the family when an uninvited aunt makes a surprise appearance and bestows a cryptic gift that is interpreted as a curse.

The aunts are ancient women, as their family was once gifted with extreme longevity. They had immigrated to America after a tragedy in 19th Century Bayern (a fairytale version of Bavaria), leaving behind the eighth and eldest sister, whose obsession to undo the past alienated her from the rest.

Events lead the family back to their ancestral home in Bayern, a noble estate just across the lake from one of "mad" King Ludwig II's numerous castles. Their destinies are/were tied closely to his, and the story takes place in two eras.

Helena's gifts play a pivotal role in the unfolding of events, but neither she, nor her aunts (except one, perhaps) really knows where they will lead her. A pathologically over-protective aunt is keeping her from fully blooming though, and Helena's lack of fulfillment is making her a bit of a terror, especially to her aunts and tutors. Only the nursemaid Hope seems immune to Helena's charms.

The familiar motifs of the older version of the tale are included, with ballrooms, walls of thorny climbing roses, and a kiss that awakens. But they are arranged in a way that defies your predictions, and each plays a role in the story's twists that negates their function as cliches.

We know this is no ordinary fairytale, but a modern novel, as it doesn't commence "once upon a time" but leaps right into the drama of a family in the 20th Century. Even aside from their magic, these are a people "between two worlds" as first generation immigrants to America, ever looking back at events in the old country.

The writing style is clear, the pacing well handled, and the events at the climax truly unpredictable.
Sleeping Helena is a retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty fairytale. Helena is a beautiful young woman living with her aunts in America, except for one aunt who lives in the `old country'. At birth she was gifted with beauty and intelligence and many other gifts of perfection, except for her Aunt Kitty, estranged from the family and offering a gift in the form of a riddle. When the family reunites in their ancestral home Helena sets out to find the meaning of the riddle.

While this book keeps a number of the themes from the original fairy tale overall this is a very dark and often convoluted tale of love and death. It's a relatively small book but took me several weeks to read as I found it too dreary and seldom wanted to pick it up. Just not my idea of a fairy tale.
I don't want to be harsh and say this book wasn't worth reading, but had I known the extent of the storyline, I probably wouldn't have read it.
It really doesn't give you much closure at the end, and it's a bit on the odd side.
Helena is also a hard character to like.
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