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Summary

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 will not be deterred. She simply needs to find a way to ride without provoking a scandal. Back home, Josephine has the brilliant idea of riding under cover of night, while the world is still asleep. But Berlin's streets are dangerous, especially on a bicycle.

Can Josephine's fighting heart help her overcome the obstacles in her path? Will the passion she feels for this new adventure lead her toward true love?

©2012 Petra Durst-Benning & Ullstein Buchverlag GmbH (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, Inc. All rights reserved. Translation © 2016 Edwin Miles.

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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fantastic read

A brilliant story. perfect length although I could follow the characters lives forever. I really enjoyed this story.

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Profile Image for Lana Lee Plum
  • Lana Lee Plum
  • 10-05-16

Bicycles and women's independence.

The story of the invention of the bicycle and how it changed the lives of women in Berlin in the 1890's. The characters were charming and determined to ride in spite the rules of society.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-02-16

The German accent is quite lovely.

I saw the book on kindle, and started the free trail. This is the very first book of my experience to use audible. The story mixed with romance , history and feminism. Not joking, I was just astonished that even in the late 19c, women could not ride bicycles and wear trousers. Women had no right to earn an occupation in university. Simply a story about how the character Joe in the 19c Berlin pursued her dreams.
The story is interesting so far, I'm looking forward to next two books. A final important review, the narrator is really great, soft voice and incredible performance, hopefully it won't change.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for suzanne tuch
  • suzanne tuch
  • 23-09-16

Enjoyable!

Would you listen to While the World Is Still Asleep again? Why?

Yes, I have become a fan of Petra Durst-Benning and it all started with this book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's hard not to love and admire the main character of the story, Josephine. She is strong despite all that she must overcome in her life.

Which scene was your favorite?

I have many favorite scences, it's too hard for me to pick just one. The author has such a way of describing settings that the picture is so vivid in your mind, like being there with Jo.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I give stars to books that make me emotional, I cried!

Any additional comments?

Looking forward to more from this author!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jennifer
  • Jennifer
  • 02-03-18

OMG

It would be difficult to overstate how poor this book is...at least the narration is equally poor, which makes for an unambiguously disappointing experience!

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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer jean mckillop
  • Amazon Customer jean mckillop
  • 16-02-18

Before the beginning of the twentieth century there were some women who wanted more than to be homemakers and mother.

The story takes place in Berlin, Germany among some of the upscale business families. It had become popular for the men to ride bicycles for entertainment. But did it have to be exclusive to them?

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Profile Image for Laurie Jacob
  • Laurie Jacob
  • 13-09-17

A good, solid read

Overall, this was a good book. The back story was a little slow, but the pace did pick up. I've read the Glassblower and really enjoyed that series. Hoping this one will be as good. I gave it only 4 stars due to the slowness in start.

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Profile Image for Ashley Knight
  • Ashley Knight
  • 19-07-17

Nearly awesome

The story was great and engaging. The end didn't really seem to do the character development justice. Maybe I was just so sad for it to end.

The performance was (sorry, but) really annoying. The German accents were random, only some Germans had them? They didn't add to the story at all, just distracted from it. Also the narrator sounded about as flat as Siri. The lack of inflection in the reading was
disappointing.

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Profile Image for Marie
  • Marie
  • 27-04-17

Great historical fiction !!

Go women go! If you like feminist historical fiction you will love this bicycle ride through history. Great performance and writing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-04-17

We've com a long way baby!

Author does fabulous job with characters and historical setting. Made me think of what we take for granted each day and how blessed I am . For sure going to read the companion novel!

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Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-03-17

Tranportrd into a different time.

awho would believe what a difference the Bicycle made across all levels of economic and social and gender.