Author: Clélie Avit
Translator: Lucy Foster
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 4 May 2017
Length: 240 pages
Available from: Amazon
A modern-day Sleeping Beauty story of love and hope…
Elsa has been in a coma for five months. With all hope of reviving her gone, her family must face the devastating fact that it might be time to turn off her life support.
What they don’t know is that in the past few weeks Elsa has regained partial consciousness – she just has no way of telling them.
Thibault is in the same hospital visiting his brother and, seeking a retreat, finds his way into Elsa’s room. When he begins to talk to her, he doesn’t realise she can hear every word – and that he is giving her a reason to wake up.
And so begins a love story that might just save both their lives…
The premise of this book intrigued me; I wanted to see how the author would tell a compelling story with one character not merely trapped in a room, but trapped in her own mind, and whether she could convince me that two people in such a situation could fall in love.
I was almost convinced, because the story is beautifully told (and translated), with such warmth and care, and Elsa and Thibault are so easy to root for. Thibault in particular stole my heart; there’s no hint of an arrogant alpha male here, but instead an emotional man who’s one of the most human male heroes in a love story I’ve come across. The twist in his tale just about broke my heart.
I say the love story almost convinced me, because while I wanted to believe every word I read, occasionally I found myself questioning Thibault’s side: how he could authentically love a girl he’d never communicated with, and why he crossed certain lines with the sleeping Elsa to bring them closer together (and, in fact, for his own comfort).
That said, I’ve given this book four stars because, softie that I am, I found I couldn’t put it down – I had to get to those final pages and read the ending of Elsa and Thibault’s story, obvious though it may have been – and abrupt as it turned out to be.
If the thought of being locked in doesn’t distress you too much, this book will be a lovely, gentle and ultimately feelgood read.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.