Sleeping Helena

Erzebet YellowBoy, Prime (www.prime-books.com), $14.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-60701-212-2
YellowBoy's first novel under her own name (after 2007's pseudonymous The Bone Whistle) is a darkly poetic retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. When Helena's mother dies in childbirth, her eight "grandaunts" take the baby in and bestow upon her magical gifts like intelligence, grace, and beauty. When the eldest crone, Kitty, gives a gift in the form of a riddle, the other sisters vow to protect the innocent girl against their sister's perceived curse. As Helena grows into a young woman, she becomes increasingly obsessed with the riddle as well as the murky and sometimes tragic events of the sisters' childhoods. On Helena's 16th birthday, she receives Kitty's gift and finally understands the significance of her life—and death. This dreamlike story lags at points but will linger in the reader's subconscious long after the last page is turned. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 11/01/2010
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FORMATS
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-8095-6240-4
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-8095-6239-8
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