Second in Geras's intriguing trilogy about British schoolgirls whose coming-of-age troubles parallel familiar fairy tales. In The Tower Room (p. 611), Megan played the role of Rapunzel; here, her roommate Alice is a 20th-century Sleeping Beauty. Alice is not asleep but deeply withdrawn, lying unresponsive in her wealthy father's home and musing about the many species of roses in his fine collection; her trauma was not an encounter with an old woman's spindle (though she has a full complement of amusingly dotty aunts, including the witchy, estranged Violette, who uttered a frightening curse at her christening); instead, she has been brutally raped by the gardener's boy who used to frighten her--but who now has somehow become a debonair gentleman resembling Red Riding Hood's wolf. The schematic relationship with the original distracts as much as it informs, and sometimes fails to justify events: dithery, guilt-prone Alice's response to her trauma is more credible than her sudden cure when her ardent pen pal comes home from Africa to kiss her. Still, Geras writes with imagination and skill, deftly interweaving past and present vignettes; readers will look forward to livelier, more assertive Snow White.