They all turned to her, and Lila understood she could talk them out of it, if she wanted to. She could ensure the safety of this new world and destroy the old one. It would only take a few words. She could say, I love you all, and I love what we made here. Let’s not lose it. She could say, I’m going to lose my husband, no matter how heroic he may have tried to be, and I don’t want to lose this. She could say, You women will never be what you were, and what they expect, because part of you will always be here, where you were truly free. You’ll carry Our Place with you from now on, and because of that, you will always mystify them. Except, really, when had men not been mystified by women? They were the magic that men dreamed of, and sometimes their dreams were nightmares.
In the latest book by Stephen King and his son Owen, the women of the world are falling asleep. Not just any kind of sleep, you know, the I’ve-done-it-all kind of sleep. The Jesus-can’t-my-husband-help-me-at-all kind of sleep. Or the that’s-it-I’m-done sleep. The women in the world of Sleeping Beauties have been struck down by Aurora, the sleeping “sickness” named after the most famous Sleeping Beauty. Only a kiss ain’t waking them up. The women, once asleep, are cocooned in a sort of web, encasing their entire bodies while preserving and keeping them alive. But the men aren’t buying it. They want their women and they want them now. So a few unlucky souls decide to take matters into their own hands and remove the webbing. And oh my word is that ever a huge mistake (just ask the schmuck who thought being a rapist was a good idea). I won’t describe some of the things that happens when you disturb the sleeping women’s sleep, but let’s just say it ain’t pretty (kind of like me when someone wakes me out of a deep sleep, only without all the blood).
So now what? What are the men supposed to do without the women? Without their wives, mothers, daughters, girlfriends, coworkers? Are the women really alive? Are they safe? And, most importantly, will they ever wake up? Well, it all depends on Evie Black.
Who is Evie Black, you ask? She’s a gorgeous, wild and super strong woman (literally) who can go to sleep and wake up, unlike every other woman on the planet. Evie, and the women of a small town called Dooling, are the keys to ensuring the Sleeping Beauties wake up or they’ll stay in the other world they’ve built and come to cherish. But will the men of Dooling do what is necessary to save the women? Or will they do what men always do: destroy everything?
As most of you know, Stephen King is one of my very favorite authors, so I couldn’t wait to read this collaboration with his son. Owen is a bestselling author in his own right, with the release of his novel Double Feature. But he’s definitely got the chops to keep up with his pop, as was apparent in Sleeping Beauties. Both authors delve into what the world would be like if 80% of the world’s women just went to sleep. How would the men handle it? Would the world survive without them (quick answer: no)? And if the women could go someplace without men (like the magical land of Themyscira we all wish was real), a place where they could be their complete selves, can walk home at night without fear, dress without judgment and work like a boss without being called “aggressive,” would they ever come back?
I highly recommend Sleeping Beauties and when you’re done reading, have a conversation with someone else who’s read the book. To my women readers, how did you feel while reading the book? I know I went through a few emotions while reading and I would love to hear what you thought, too. Happy reading!