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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 listeners say about While the World Is Still Asleep

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic read

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

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  • 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 people found this helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 01-01-17

Fascinating Tale of Bicycling and Women

I have come to love these tales by Petra Durst-Benning, historical, sort of magical and always revealing a truth that I never understood before . . . this one about the invention and progression of bicycles during the late 1800s in Germany is equally interesting . . . the treatment of women (in all societies) saddens me, and when Josephine was sent away after the death of her little brother . . . who was a brat, by the way . . . broke my heart . . . but the trades she learned and later put to extraordinary use was exhilarating . . . as was the middle of the night and early morning bicycle rides . . . the story, which like all of her books, has the betrayal, good versus evil, love triumphing over hardship . . . the fairy tale aspect which I have come to look for and treasure in her writing . . . enjoy . . . I can't wait for the next in the series . . .

1 person found this helpful

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  • 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 people found this helpful

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  • Kat
  • 02-09-20

Good Story, Grating Narration

I think the story is nice and even though I’m not into bicycles or sports or riding it managed to keep me interested the whole way through. But the narrator. Her voice sounded like a gps navigation. Most of the time it’s very flat and she sounds bored and like she doesn’t like the book. I appreciate her effort to do accents, and I’m no expert on accents, but they all sounded the same to me. The Rhineland accent sounded like the same as the Arabic character. But also most of the male characters sounded exactly the same. I appreciate that she’s not able to drop her voice range (or raise it) for full effect.... but it ended up being that it didn’t sound very varied and it’d take me several minutes every time I’d pick the book back up to adjust to the Siri voice.

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  • 6ftSophia
  • 20-05-20

I wanted to like it

I wanted to like this story, but the narration is terrible. Her multiple character voices and accents are awful. Very distracting.

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  • 89TuchFan37
  • 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 person found this helpful

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  • Deborah Jacob
  • 04-03-16

Not a moving story

While the idea was good the author did too much of telling the story rather than showing the story

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  • Wendy Piersee
  • 23-11-18

Stimulating historical fiction in foreign settings

I enjoyed learning about the history of women's cycling in Europe and the female trail blazers who led the way.

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  • Cowgirl
  • 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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  • 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.