Read The Sleeping Beauty by Elizabeth Taylor Online

Title : The Sleeping Beauty
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 16101899
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 250 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Sleeping Beauty Reviews

  • Mela
    2019-04-22 11:49

    The first thing I did after I finished this phenomenal book I searched for Taylor's other books. I think it says all.It is a beautifully written book, a brilliant novel. I was (I am still) enchanted with a love story. So poetic and tender. 'My plans for today are to hang about hoping for a glimpse of her, to have my heart eaten away by the thought of her; to feel my blood bounding maddeningly, ridiculously, like a young boy's; to despair; to realise the weight of my misery and hunger with each step I take.''I cannot think why you love me,' he said, as all lovers say; but with more anxiety in his voice than is usual. 'Oh, I am nothing without you,' she said. 'I should not know what to be. I feel as if you had invented me. I watch you inventing me, week after week'I should have said love stories, because you'll find here two different love stories. Secondly, there are fascinating characters. They are described with care, precision and charm. Elizabeth Taylor was a great writer and a psychologist. She created so real characters.Past and future to him were the realities; the present dull, meaningless, only significant if, as now, going back along the sands, he could say to himself: 'Later on, I shall remember.'She felt locked away in herself, but ignorant of her identity, and often she awoke suddenly in the night, without any idea of who she was; thinking, firstly, that she had died.She looked ready to be wounded for everybody,'People are different in different places,' he thought hazily. 'And if they're all right in one place, it's best to leave them there.'(view spoiler)[The way in which Laurence started to feel tenderness and love - grand and sweet.The way in which Vinny started to see some thing different when he fell in love - brilliant (hide spoiler)]Elizabeth Taylor had so much to tell and she did it creating enjoyable (and sometimes amusing) story. And she asked difficult questions.They met middle-age together-a time when women are necessary to one another-and all the petty but grievous insults of greying hair, crowsfeet, and the loathed encumbrances of unwanted flesh, seemed less sordid when faced and fought (though fought spasmodically and with weak wills) gaily together.The most bitter thing for a child is to see in another just the kind of son his mother deserved,If you love books which have something to tell,if you love a sweet love story,read this book.

  • Jane
    2019-04-12 13:07

    In this, her sixth novel, Elizabeth Taylor took the bones of a fairy story and re-set it as a very human story, among other human stories, in an English seaside town.Vinny, the hero, is visiting to offer help and support to an old friend, Isabella, who has been widowed. He does the job beautifully and Isabella, anxious about growing old on her own, fancies that she is beginning to fall in love with him.Her son, Lawrence, on leave from the army, is less impressed.And Vinny is falling in love with another. With a young woman he saw walking, alone, across the beach.Emily lived at the town’s guest house with her widowed sister, Rose, and Rose’s disabled daughter. She’d had an independent life, but there had been a car accident. The physical injuries had healed but the mental scars had not. Maybe Vinny, in love for the first time, in his fifties, could be the man to rescue her …Meanwhile, Isabella and her friend Evalie invest in beauty treatments, trying to hold on to youth and hope. Laurence, to his mother’s displeasure, embarks on a romance with Betty a nursery maid staying with her employers at Rose’s guest house. And Ruth frets about how she would manage, should her sister marry.The relationship between Vinny and Emily advances nicely. But Vinny has a secret that he dare not tell.Elizabeth Taylor, of course, paints all of those characters, all of those lives, quite beautifully. Always showing, but never telling. I saw insecurities, I saw snobbery. But I understood; these were real, fallible human beings. In a few places I had doubts, but in the end there was nothing that I couldn’t accept.Those doubts lead me to say that this is not my favourite of Elizabeth Taylor’s novels. I’d like to explain more, but to do that properly I would have to give away more of the plot than feels right.My other concern was the balance between the characters: one more household, one more plotline, would have made the community and this seaside town so much more real for me. But I think that maybe what I wanted wasn’t what the author intended.Whatever the case, I have to say that this is still a lovely book: beautifully written and with much to say about the human condition.

  • Mary
    2019-04-06 09:07

    Vinny is a quiet, sensible man.While staying at an English resort he looks out and catches sight of a mysterious beautiful woman walking along the sea shore.For the first time in his life he falls in love.This is a story of bitter secrets from the past and a secluded life.Can Vinny change all this?I loved it, one of her best!

  • Helen Stanton
    2019-04-23 09:09

    Already well wrapped up in this .....the writing is brilliant.........This is a fantastic book and I would give it 6 stars if I could. So glad I have discovered this overlooked writer. A very subtle tale, she has an incredible ear for dialogue ....some real LOL moments !!!!!

  • Hilary
    2019-03-31 15:13

    A funny and clever look at relationships and weaknesses. Some interesting and realistic characters, written with a dry sense of humour. A witty observation about cauliflower cheese at the start of the book !

  • Sarah Bodney
    2019-03-24 10:07

    Did you ever see that wonderful movie "Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont"? Well, I did and so did my dear friend Sue who discovered that it was written by Elizabeth Taylor. And so a new author opened up for us. From the goodreads listing, it looks like Ms Taylor wrote over 25 books before she died in the 1970s. I am so looking forward to making my way through them.

  • Roger Pettit
    2019-04-18 11:57

    Given that Barbara Pym is my favourite novelist, it's perhaps not surprising that I enjoy the writing of Elizabeth Taylor. They are very similar authors. Both deal with the anxieties, the insecurities, the loneliness and the poignancy that form a large part of all our inner lives. Their particular canvas is the parochial minutiae of a certain type of middle-class existence and the melancholy and sadness that all too often come with such a life. But, despite the fact that many of their principal characters are well-heeled people of independent means, their themes are universal. Both were writing at a time - the 1950s and 1960s - when, in the UK at least, kitchen sink drama was making considerable inroads into the cultural landscape. The lives and preoccupations of working-class people were considered (quite rightly, perhaps) to be in need of greater literary prominence. As a result, the writing of both Pym and Taylor seems to have suffered from periods of neglect. Thankfully, their output has been back in fashion for some time now and most of their books are currently in print. 'The Sleeping Beauty' is not one of Taylor's best novels. But it is nonetheless a good read. It concerns the mid-life crisis being experienced by 50-year old Vinny Tumulty. When visiting a recently-widowed friend, Isabella, in a small seaside town, Vinny comes across a young, attractive woman, Emily (the 'sleeping beauty' of the title). He is immediately smitten with her. In fact, Vinny becomes so infatuated with Emily that he wants to marry her. The problem is that Vinny already has a wife, Rita. Although they have not lived together for years, they have never divorced. To make matters worse, Vinny has carefully concealed Rita's existence and their marriage from his family and friends, including his domineering mother. 'The Sleeping Beauty' is therefore a story about the vicissitudes of love. The novel is written in Elizabeth Taylor's customary style. The prose is pristine; and the dialogue is convincing. There is little or no linear plot. What we get instead is a series of finely wrought vignettes that describe the impact on those around them of this seemingly ill-matched couple's somewhat shaky union. What makes 'The Sleeping Beauty' slightly less enjoyable than the two other Taylor novels that I have read is that none of the principal characters is remotely likeable. Vinny himself is pompous and self-satisfied; his mother is unbearable; and I did not warm to Isabella or to her son Laurence (or to any of the other main protagonists, including Emily herself and her sister Rose). However, the story is replete with Taylor's quiet and intelligent insight into the human condition. Even though it's not her best work, I enjoyed it. 'The Sleeping Beauty' is well worth a few hours of your time. 7/10.

  • Steven Pilling
    2019-04-24 07:51

    Really enjoyed this novel. Didnt think i would and only read it because of a recommendation from a friend.I am not sure that i can name any novelist Taylor resembles although i can see why Jane Austin is mentioned. I also feel that Wharton is a good comparison point as Taylor essentially binds her characters via a web of rules of engagement and expectations.Taylor's strength is description, there are passages which you want to read outloud because Taylor is laser sharp and forensic in her use of words, if it wasnt so serious you could describe the novel as almost joyous, it makes you want to hold the book and not let it go. Some of the characters are astonishing and my view of Vinny may not chime with other peoples, it is romantic but it is also harsh, love is complex and defined by each character and its the meeting and conflict between characters and their position on love, honour and expectation that gives the novel its real heart.I am still considering my views on Vinny and currently i am not impressed with his actions and feel that he is a coward and a man who decides his fate not based on love but on need but i think other people will disagree and this has to be the real strength of the novel.I cannot recommend this novel highly enough.

  • Mrsgaskell
    2019-04-15 08:11

    I loved Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont but I found this book disappointing. I couldn’t warm to any of the characters.

  • Patricia
    2019-04-23 10:17

    There were lovely pieces, some poetic natural description and funny but sympathetic bits on Evalie and Isabelle questing after beauty and comfort. Still, I kind of trudged on to the end.

  • Behemoth
    2019-03-31 11:49

    All the minor characters sing, especially the hilarious gambling ladies and the young soldier, but this is my least favorite Taylor because the main character, the sleeping beauty, herself, never quite came alive. For one thing, I didn't really understand her injury. It seemed like the kind of injury that only people in books suffer. Everything about getting divorced in the nineteen-fifties was fascinating.

  • Antony Bennett
    2019-03-24 15:50

    Another subtle, elegant story from Elizabeth Taylor laced with sharp observations and lovely touches of humour. The quality of the writing is high, and several times I paused to read some of the more beautiful sentences over again.

  • Atticbird
    2019-03-26 11:12

    At first, I thought this book was too parochial and introspectively petit bourgeois. However, it is cleverly written, well structured and shows genuine insight with a light humorous touch.

  • Jamiedwan
    2019-04-11 10:51

    This was a quiet book that takes place in a quiet town but there are many secrets underneath the calm exterior. Good. I would read another one of her books. This was mom's book from 1983.

  • Deborah J
    2019-04-06 08:03

    A pleasure, as always. The same feel as A View of the Harbour. Bigamy? Perhaps not E Taylor's thing. I plan to read as many of her books as I can find.

  • Orla Hegarty
    2019-04-16 09:17

    First reading of this classic writer. Really enjoyed her style - I look forward to more.

  • kp
    2019-04-06 09:57

    Another finely observed tale of that manages to be both whimsical and bitter, romantic and satirical, compassionate and sceptical.