Tuesday, August 4, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: The Sleeping Beauty

Happy Tuesday! Welcome to First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where book bloggers share a bit about what they're reading or planning to read soon. 

I've come back to the work of British novelist Elizabeth Taylor for a book that's on my summer reading list, The Sleeping Beauty (originally published in 1953). My edition is the 2014 Virago Modern Classics edition, and I'm halfway through the book.

The opening:

"'There's Vinny going in with the wreaths,' Isabella had once said.

Now that her own time to be consoled had come, she was glad of him. The wreaths she had mentioned were a figure of speech--her way of associating Vinny with condolences and gloom; for disaster could always bring him to a scene. He went with sympathy professional in its skill; yet adept, exquisite. More personal than the professionals whom he excelled--doctors, priests, undertakers--he fired his reliability with talent and imagination. His letters to the bereaved never expressed inadequacy on his part: they seemed simply to be the reason for his existence. Flippant people--Isabella was one--felt that his presence was a foreboding, or a dismal signal, like drawn blinds: but behind the closed doors where sorrow was, he sustained and comforted."

From the back cover:

"Vinny Tumulty is a quiet, sensible man. When he goes to stay at a seaside town, his task is to comfort a bereaved friend. Vinny is prepared for a solemn few days of tears and consolation. But on the evening of his arrival, he looks out of the window at the sunset and catches sight of a mysterious, romantic figure: a beautiful woman walking by the seashore. Before the week is over Vinny has fallen in love, completely and utterly, for the first time in his middle-aged life. Emily, though, is a sleeping beauty, her secluded life hiding bitter secrets from the past."

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


  1. This does sound intriguing! I had to read the intro a couple times to really feel the impact of it, but the blurb caught my attention right away.

  2. I do like the sound of this one...I have been meaning to read this author, as so many other bloggers have sung her praises. Thanks for sharing. Here's mine: “SOME LUCK”

  3. You're tempting me with another Elizabeth Taylor! Of course I'd keep reading.

  4. This book drew me in. I'd like to keep reading.

  5. The opening didn't especially intrigue me, but Vinny sounds like a fascinating character. I'd keep reading to get to know him better.
    Thank you for visiting my blog today.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

  6. Sounds interesting. You'll have to let us know if the ending is as good as the beginning.

  7. I like the writing Monica so I would read some more. Nice pick.

  8. Sounds like a good story. I've always wanted to read a book by this author. I'm going to see what my library has on its shelves.