Orphaned at birth, Helena receives a gift from each of her eight extraordinary aunts. Her gifts make her beautiful, intelligent, talented—as well as headstrong, temperamental, and bound to fulfill a destiny that involves death. On Helena’s sixteenth birthday, all in her domain are bespelled by sleep. A broken mirror becomes a portal to a dark day in a distant past that shattered the lives of her family and altered the future of an entire kingdom. While the fate of the nation has been decided and cannot be undone, the fate of the family rests on a kiss, a fairy tale king, and what Helena will do when–and if–she wakes.
Erzebet gives an overview of the book:
Kitty was a tall woman, wide at the shoulder and heavy of thigh, who kept her white braids coiled on top of her head, held in place by an army of hairpins. Her skin was a deep shade of sepia and she wore lipstick the color of those halfling cherries found lurking at the bottom of canned fruit cup. She was sometimes forgiving and sometimes not. On the day of her grandniece’s christening she was not, and she knew just who to blame for the grave insult.
"In the artist of all kinds I think one can detect an inherent dilemma, which belongs to the co-existence of two trends, the urgent need to communicate and the still more urgent need not to be found."
(P.W. Winnicott, quoted in Anthony Storr, "The Dynamics of Creation...