Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: A Long Long Sleep

I've always been a big fan of retellings of myths and fairy tales. These stories have survived for generations because they're just plain good, but a little modernization doesn't hurt either. Cinder, a favorite of mine from this year, is a retelling of Cinderella.

A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan is the latest retelling I've enjoyed (it was published in 2011), although it really just uses the story of Sleeping Beauty as a jumping off place instead of a story outline. Rosalinda has spent over 60 years in a cryogenic-like stass tube, accidentally shoved into a corner of her apartment building's basement. When she's awakened (also by accident), she must come to terms with the fact that everyone she loved is gone, as well as a world that is so vastly different than her own.

Sheehan's writing is beautiful, and she captures Rose's struggles in a very real way. There is pain and joy, wonder and horror, dark and light throughout the book. The beginning is perhaps a little slow, but that's because Rose, who is narrating, is just waking up from years of sleep - she needs a little time to get her emotions running again. I found myself flying through the second half of the book, with Rose's struggles affecting me almost physically. Yes, there were definitely some tears.

Since A Long Long Sleep is Sheehan's first novel, I'm eagerly awaiting whatever else she comes out with, fairy tale retelling or no. I can only hope it's as good as her first.

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