Sleeping Beauties: Part 3, Epilogue

[Sleeping Beauties Content Note: Trans Exclusion and Erasure, Misogyny, Violence Against Women]

Sleeping Beauties Recap: When this book first popped up on my radar, I expressed some concerns about the content on Twitter. This week, I purchased the book and read through it. As I read, I live-tweeted my thoughts on Twitter. This is a compilation and expansion of my tweets. The live-read will be spread out over multiple posts.

Sleeping Beauties, Part Three: In The Morning. Epilogue

(Tweet Link) They leave through the tree and wake up in hospital beds--despite being previously established as mostly left in homes.

Magda regrets the vote she made under duress and with inaccurate information which Eve could have--but didn't--clear up.

When Magda Dubcek learned what had happened to Anton—the blood on her bedroom carpet told most of the story—she bitterly regretted her vote to come back. “What a mistake I have made,”

Oh god. This is spot-on. The most marginalized members of the community, the ones with the most to lose/gain, were killed to preserve the vote.

Semiotic Hatpin @semiotic_pirate  This is why the known rape victims, homeless, and gays “needed” to die. B/C the rest will be swayed by peer pressure & all go back. Pfft.

Tiffany Jones is still dead but THANK GOD her baby boy wasn't a dream. Or something. I don't know.

But one thing was different: Andy Jones. The baby was not in Blanche’s arms, as he had been when she entered the Tree. He was asleep in a crude crib made of woven twigs on the floor nearby. “Holy shit,” Dorothy said. “The kid! Yippee!

Does Linda--the one other named pregnant woman--wake up with a toddler or pregnant with a fetus? Who knows. Lila divorces Clint (I guess? or they separate?) and Mary breaks up with Jared. I can't muster an ounce of sympathy; I'm still dwelling on all the people who died for this Aurora event.

These thoughts comforted Jared and distracted him when he needed distracting, which was, during that period of his life, almost all the time. His parents’ marriage was breaking up, and Mary was dating Molly Ransom’s older cousin, a lacrosse star at a high school in the next county. He had seen them together once, Mary and her guy.

Men agree not to tell women which men tried to hurt them. Stellar. Feminist. Cool.

A fellow named Geary visited her one afternoon to offer his condolences. Rita knew—though there were conflicting stories, and a desire to protect everyone involved had thrown a hush over the details of the event—that it was Geary who had directed the attack on the prison, but his manner was soft-spoken and kind. He insisted she call him Frank.

King spends more time (literally) on insurance payments than on the pregnant women who aren't mentioned at all. Janice asks Mika (Reporter Girl) if she'll Tell The Story. Mika buries it instead. Elaine writes Bobby and tells him about Jeanette--a woman she met for 5 minutes and he visited regularly on weekends his entire life. Bobby and Nana (Elaine's daughter) become pen pals.

Because you said please, Nana wrote. Of course I said please, he wrote back to her. Who doesn’t say please? In her next letter, she wrote, I know a lot of boys who don’t say please. I don’t have room on this paper to write the names of all the boys I know who don’t say please. In response, he wrote, I’m not one of those boys.

Clint never asked if Lila took a lover.

Clint never asked if Lila took a lover.

We still don't know if she had a lover! FUCK THIS QUEER BAITING. What is this supposed to imply? Resentment (relief?) from Lila that Clint didn't ask but should've (or feared to)? But why would he ask that, if he thinks his wife is straight? Is this a "no women are straight" thing that men think or are supposed to think, per the author?

Lila (who is 45 years old) adopts Tiffany's baby.

“I’m going to say that he was mine, that I gave birth to him. It’ll be simpler that way. My friend Jolie is a doctor. She’s already filed the paperwork.”

Lila hates Clint now. I.... don't understand why, but I hate Clint too, so I approve of this page and whichever of the many reasons to hate Clint that Lila settled upon.

“Do I get a say in this?” he asked. “No,” Lila said. “I’m sorry.” “You don’t sound sorry.” Which was true.

Again, this entire book would be better if Clint had been cheating. That stupid, stupid subplot was such a waste of time.


Sometimes—usually at night when she lay wakeful, but sometimes even on the brightest afternoons—names would go through Lila’s head. They were the names of white police officers (like her) who had shot innocent black civilians (like Jeanette Sorley).

In Remembrance of Sandra Bland

How the fuck do you construct a police shooting wherein the police shooter is perfectly innocent, then dedicate that book to Sandra Bland? HOW THE FUCK.

Would she have given a white woman more time? She was terribly, dreadfully afraid she knew the answer to that . . . but knew she would never be sure. The question would haunt her for the rest of her life.

So after writing a breathtakingly racist novel, King pats himself on the back by blaming a white woman for racism. Wow. I don't have words. White women ARE racist! But it wasn't a white woman who wrote THIS SHITTY RACIST BOOK.

Witchtoria  @weedsandroses  So, to summarize, everything that happened in this book accomplished absolutely nothing?

That is correct. Men are still awful and have learned nothing. Millions are also dead but, like, mostly elsewhere.

Lila (sheriff) and Janice (warden), both strong women in their 40s who fought hard for their careers, resign of Old Age.

Clint has wet dreams of Eve. Clint moves into a motel. Clint drives to spy on his ex. Clint drives away without speaking to her, labeling her the milkshake who got away. Clint goes to a bar where he runs into Frank and they reminisce over drinks.

Sheila, Clint's "secret" daughter who wasn't actually his but who believes he is her dead father, is never mentioned. I don't even know if she survived the Burnings. Sheila's name literally does not appear after Clint convinces Lila that it's all been a wacky misunderstanding. She stops existing.

Frank goes to anger management. Frank is fine now. No one mentions that Frank killed women while storming the prison. Zoloft fixes Frank. Frank is happier without his awful wife.

No amount of therapy or Big Pharma happy-pills could change the fact that Frank’s marriage was kaput. He had broken Elaine’s trust too many times (not to mention the kitchen wall). But maybe that part was okay. He discovered he didn’t actually like her that much. The best thing was to let her go.

This epilogue will never end. I am in purgatory. This is my hell.

Angel travels the world, not killing men. She was my last hope.

The fox has a happy ending. (That's more than any trans person is given.)

The novel ends in Lila's POV. Things we don't get:
- Will she kick Clint to the curb forever?
- Did she love Tiffany in a sapphic way?

I am robbed of closure.

If a fantasy novel is to be believable, the details underpinning it must be realistic.

I am dead from actual irony.

Their "primary research assistant" in a novel about women is a man named Russ. Of course it is. Of course. A Mike and Michael are credited next. A handful of women are credited. I will not drag their names into this thread. They have my deepest sympathy and pity.

Now we are free, like moths, to fly away. This novel was horribly, horribly bad.

I'm make some blog posts for all this, since the Twitter threading can't seem to manage 20,000 tweets at a time. Thank you for not unfollowing me. I'm so sorry I inflicted this book on you.

Allison MURDER~ @AMulderWrites  *raises hands* I hate to ask, but I must.

They were shot in the head and never heard from again. The Dead Queer Zombies were briefly useful in the prison storming that ended up stopping of its own volition anyway.

Louvelune @anarschtroumpf  So... WHY have them awaken at all? Why not go with "Well, they're dead, sorry"? T___T

They accomplished nothing except to traumatize any queer readers.

Stephanie Rabig @stephrabig  And IF you're gonna do this... HAVE JEANETTE SURVIVE THE SHOOTING. I'm so tired of the "guilty white racist" pov. Give us Jeanette's.

This. Jeanette is just a figurehead for a moral. We were almost never in her head at all.


Go into NaNoWriMo (if you do NaNo) knowing you will write something not as awful as this.

The biggest gift you can get me is to think about trans people when you read / write gender-segregated stuff like this. I know this devolved into me griping about the writing craft, but the gender stuff hurt and this kinda thing is sloppy and shitty. This book repeatedly said that XX = women and XY = men. Please don't come away thinking it "neglected" or "forgot about" trans people. Deliberately tying a gender to a chromosome pair is active and unnecessary transphobia. It's not neglect.

Bigotry isn't about hate in your heart or a feeling. Bigotry is about your actions. Writing those words were an action. It doesn't matter if the Kings like trans people just fine. It doesn't matter if they picked these words by mistake. The book, the end result, is hostile to trans people. Whether the authors are or not.

The End.....?

Louvelune @anarschtroumpf  @AnaMardoll I'm realizing we never had any explanation for why they didn't attack their kids when awoken? Handwave to avoid the massacre? %D

Doylistically, it prevented the Horror from crossing a line.

Watsonianly... I guess it foreshadowed them going back?

Jeanne like @meannejeanne  Sorry I must have missed this (& couldn't find it when I looked), but what happened to Eve?

"Evie cried" is the last words after the vote ("Jesus wept"?) and we never see her again. Clint dreams of her and Lila fruitlessly calls out to her in the forest, but she is gone. No explanation. Nothing.

You know what pisses me off? ("Do tell, Ana," you say. "This thread hasn't been long enough.") During the voting meeting, not one person points out that men have been killing them while they've been helpless. Not one. This novel would've been worlds better if the men had fallen into a spirit world and the women had to decide whether to let them back.

Because what really is their choice? Stay in caveman-land knowing you'll die unexpectedly at any moment without closure or a body? Or go back to a world where at least your physical body has object permanence and you're slightly less likely to be murdered by a man! Even in a World of Women, the highest cause of death for those women is men!



The book didn't even show us a "world without women"! We got a "world in which women are utterly helpless" instead. That... no, that is amazingly telling. To me, a world without women is a world in which women are gone. To the Kings, it's a world in which women aren't conscious to do things for men.

That.... yeah. Okay. I'm done now.


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