While the World Is Still Asleep (The Century Trilogy Book 1) by Petra Durst-Benning

While the World Is Still Asleep (The Century Trilogy Book 1)

It isn’t easy for a woman to cut loose in 1890s Berlin. But the winds of change are blowing, and nothing can stop Josephine from pursuing her dreams.After the tragic death of her little brother, Josephine travels to the Black Forest to heal. There she discovers a feeling of freedom astride a brand-new invention called the “velocipede.” The very idea of a woman on a bicycle is beyond taboo—it is indecent and even illegal—but Josephine wi...

Details While the World Is Still Asleep (The Century Trilogy Book 1)

TitleWhile the World Is Still Asleep (The Century Trilogy Book 1)
Release DateFeb 23rd, 2016
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

Reviews While the World Is Still Asleep (The Century Trilogy Book 1)

  • Elizabeth Camden
    What a wonderful novel! I feel like I've just struck gold....a new-to-me author who has a huge backlist I can plow through. Petra Durst-Benning writes the kind of novels I love... a vibrant historical setting, intelligent leading women, daring storylines, and lots of heart. Oh, and a happy ending. I loved it! I also loved learning about late 19th century Germany. Makes me want to visit!
  • Liviu
    proto-feminism and strong young women in Germany and Berlin (and other countries as the book goes on in the 1880's and 1890's; very interesting fresco of a time and society and strong characters kept me going but the two main drawbacks - flat prose (or maybe flat translation) that generally lacks excitement and the page turning qualities of the best in this quite popular and crowded subgenre and a fairly predictable plot - kept me from fully enjo...
  • Sayra
    From start to finish, I was completely enthralled with these women, specifically Josephine the main character. Their confidence and relentlessness is influential and stirs emotions of all kinds. Heartbreak comes to each in it's own form and some more harsh than others, her it only strengthens them individually. Friendships that last through all the trials and a sweet love story make this book a must read. It is written in a way that keeps you int...
  • Samantha
    This book was excruciatingly dull and was only made worse by horrible audio narration. The story takes place in Berlin, but only a few people have thick German accents, while the main characters sound more American than I do. Odd anachronisms and two-dimensional characters didn't help the slow plot along either.
  • Jessica Leigh
    While The World Is Still Asleep by Petra Durst-Benning is a historical fiction novel set in 19th century Berlin. It describes a new mode of transportation called the "velocipede" and the wealthy men who can afford to flash such a luxury around town and the strong-willed women who would just like to be accepted as equals.Although I loved Petra Durst-Benning's Glassblower Trilogy, I found this book a bit difficult to get through. It's well written ...
  • Rochelle
    A really good piece of historical fiction...told not from the point of any great historical happening, but from the point of the gentle but firm changes women caused for themselves in 1890's Germany. I love that this book is to be part of a Trilogy.....with the second book being published in Germany later this year...hopefully translated by early next year!
  • Jeanette Sander
    I loved the idea of this book, a woman seeking freedom and Independence during a time when that was just not an option. I had never considered how empowering and controversial a bicycle was and the impact it's invention and availability were on society. After a few chapters the writing began to feel rushed and I was annoyed by having to read over and over about her wanting to ride a bike.
  • Pat Roberts
    Three stars is too much, two not quite enough. While the premise of the book is interesting, that is, women wanting to ride bicycles at the turn of the century in Germany, the writing style is just plain corny and simplistic. The story morphed into a romance, and I happen to hate romance novels of any sort.
  • Kristina
    While the World is Still Asleep by Petra Durst-Benning is the first book in The Century Trilogy. Josephine “Jo” is telling her story. We start out with her in an accident and in trouble with the law (I know. It makes no sense.) Jo ends up in prison for 3 and a half years. Jo then goes back to tell us about the death of her brother, Freddie?? He was twelve years old and fascinated with fire. One Sunday Jo was ordered to watch him while her par...
  • Catherine
    Set in the late 1800s in Germany, While the World is Still Asleep is a historical fiction featuring Josephine and her friends as they become enamored with a new invention - the bicycle. German society is appalled by the idea of women's cycling, whether for sport, transport or leisure, with doctors even going so far as to claim that cycling can impact women's health negatively (...of course, they also claim no such detriment befalls a man who wish...
  • georgia
    2016 434 pagesthe title refers to the women of Berlin-per and during war-riding bicycles in the early morning as only men were allowed to ride bikes during the day time.I liked this book because it kept my interest. I had a few out loud laughs as the women figured out how to fix their skirt so they would not get caught in the bike chain. So the story follows 4 girls as become young ladies, learn how to secretly ride bikes in dad's back yard and e...
  • Louise
    I don't like giving bad reviews to books (though some are so sloppily written and full of plot holes they deserve them) in cases like this, where it's about my tastes and not the writing.I just found this book incredibly dull.I struggled to three quarters of the way through and then gave up...as I wasn't retaining any of it.It may well be a fantastic read to others,just not for me.
  • Chris
    I enjoyed learning about the advent of cycling in Germany!
  • Betty
    Rather a different read for me, but I quite liked it. Well done and interesting period in Germany's history.
  • Samia
    I simply could not stop reading this book! Each page was as delightful as the last, the story so free flowing and free spirited, it had me at the edge of my seat, quivering with a sense of adventure. The theme of the book is very subtle, with women cycling and being ridiculed for it. Makes you see the world from the point of view of the deprived. The fairer sex has come a long way since the 1890s, but the book shows that these prejudices have to ...
  • Jamie
    I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. It follows three young women, friends from childhood, as they come of age in Berlin in the late 1800s. The book focuses on one woman in particular (presumably the other two books in the series will feature the other two in more detail). Setting her story in the years after the invention of the bicycle, Durst-Benning covers issues relating to social class, patriarchy and feminism. I particularly...
  • Diana Green
    While I found the premise and larger plot of this book to be very good, the pace was too slow for my tastes. I found myself skimming page after page of details about bicycles, and endless tedious conversations between characters on very pedestrian topics that did not move the story forward. If this novel had been half as long and focused on the important plot elements, then it would have been truly wonderful. Still, I enjoyed it enough to try mor...
  • Katherine Leinbach
    While the World is Asleep is a book one might enjoy over a relaxing weekend. Written in German and translated to English, it's about some German girls around the late 1800's who discover a passion for newfangled bicycles when it was not socially acceptable for women to ride bicycles. Thought provoking on the social norms of women and how far things have come over the past 100 plus years. Also eye opening on the early days of bicycles. Not in your...
  • Ariadne
    Von der Autorin wollte ich schon länger was lesen und bin froh, dass mir gerade dieses Buch von ihr in die Hände gefallen ist. Zu Anfang hatte ich noch Schwierigkeiten mich richtig in die Geschichte und Charaktere hinein zuversetzen, aber das war zum Glück bald behoben. Über den Frauenradsport, deren Geschichte und Kontroversen wusste ich bisher kaum etwas und bin echt glücklich hier ein unterhaltsames Buch gefunden zu haben, dass nicht von ...
  • Amber Miller
    Entertained beginning to endThis is the 2nd series I've read from this author. Not disappointed at all. Inspiring and empowering. Crossing lines of gender and social class.
  • Teresita
    God. I just love this author. I really enjoyed her previous trilogy (The Glassblower Trilogy) and I liked the beginning of this new series even more. I look forward to reading the next 2 books. This book follows the story of three girls and it is a coming of age story that revolves around bicycles, the twists and turns of life, and the bonds of friendship. I loved this book, it is going to be one of those books that I never tire of reading. It al...
  • Erin
    MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS"It would be foolish to keep crying about the past and things that shouldn't have turned out the way they did."This story follows Jo, Clara, and Isabella and how bicycles have affected there lives. While the main focus of the story is Jo, every few chapters we see things from Clara and Isabella's point of view.Jo is a headstrong young lady who is going to ride a bike no matter the consequences because she needs an escape from ...
  • Sarah
    Excellent historical fiction. Loved the concept and enjoyed watching the characters grow. It started off a bit slow, but once it got going, I could not put it down.
  • Angela Richter
    Terrific AuthorI really liked Petra's books on glass blowing so thought I'd try " While the World is Still Asleep". Great.
  • Barbara
    As an audio read I found this story filled with moments where cheering on the young and slightly older females was a natural element. Throughout the main character's life there was reason to cheer her on and wish you too could provide much needed advice. The story's plot follows the life circumstances of a poor young female heroine who develops into a strong woman who leads her little corner of the world into a revolution of realization - what a ...
  • William C Towner
    Can't wait for the next adventureWonderful creation of the introduction of bicycles into the world. Heroine Josephine proves to be the strong, courageous woman Durst-Benning is known for.
  • Erika
    Since I am not a cycling enthusiast this book didn't really grab me. When I could read past that and into the friendships and trials of women in the 1890's that is when I liked the book better. I will see if I pick up the second one
  • Melissa
    The Century Trilogy book 1Late 1800s Germany, women riding bicycles and crazy rules of behavior!! I am SO glad I was born when I was!! The characters were fun to meet, but the way they were treated was appalling!! I think that is what took me so long to get through this book, I kept going back and reread to try and understand. On to book 2
  • Jool
    I loved this book! A fascinating look at late 1800s Berlin, and the huge scandal of a woman riding a bicycle. You will become fascinated with free thinker Jo, the heroine, who spends time in prison for being a woman who dared to dress like a man and ride a bike. An exciting journey of several years of her life and her dreams of becoming a cyclist.