A strange fairy tale is more disenchanted than enchanted and is a subtle to wry commentary on lives in suspension and seclusion. Emily is the sleeping beauty of the title and her unnatural loveliness which she owes to plastic surgery after an automobile accident is alien even to her. She lives withdrawn from the world and dedicates her days to the mentally defective daughter of her sister, Rose. But the pattern of solitude is broken with the intrusion of Vinny, the guest of a neighbor, the recently widowed Isabella. Vinny, a compassionate rather than passionate romantic approaching fifty, finds himself attracted to Emily and curiosity helps to provoke his easily aroused sympathy and solicitude. The factor of an unrevealed, early marriage which he cannot dissolve does not impede his courtship with Emily- and its bigamous conclusion, and neither the censure of Rose- and Isabella, or the possibility of legal recriminations can disrupt the happy harmony of their life together..... Closest in tone to her earliest books-At Mrs. Lippincote's and Palladian, this is discreet in its satire and discerning in its observation and directed at an exclusive but appreciative audience.