Sunday, July 6, 2008

Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

book 8 of 12 for the 2008 young adult challenge

I have read many a fairy tale retelling in my day. This Rumpelstiltskin story ranks in my top three.

Charlotte Miller is the "Miller's Daughter" - a young woman whose family's woolen mill falls into her hands when her father passes away. Her steadfast love for the mill and those who work there is constantly put to the test as misfortune after misfortune seems to happen at the mill. Charlotte's disbelief in the superstitions of her fellow mill workers begins to fade as that crazy little man comes to her rescue in unique and believable ways.

There are so many things about this story to love. Bunce turns the tale into a make-believe historical fiction, if that's even possible. While magic is absolutely apparent in this story - it's also as though we are living and breathing in a circa 1700s water-wheel-powered woolen mill. We ache with Charlotte as she learns the business and struggles in a male dominated market. We fall in love along with her and sorrow as the secrets she carries begin to fill her heart.

I have actually always hated the classic Rumpelstiltskin story. Every time I read it to my children I think "WHY would she want to marry that man who wants to kill her??" "WHAT would possess a mother to give up her first born child for ANYTHING?" And this story completely convinced me. I was with Bunce for every word and loved every minute of it.


Melissa said...

Oh, I'm glad you liked this one so much... That makes me happy. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely review! I'm delighted you enjoyed it.

And now I'm dying to know--what are your other top two favorite retellings?


Corinne said...

Elizabeth - lovely to see you here :) I did LOVE your book!

So, my other favorites:

East by Edith Pattou
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Beauty by Robin McKinley

Retold fairy tales is one of my favorite genres :)

Heather said...

You know, I have yet to venture into retold fairy tales (except for the OS Card book we read for the Nook), but I'm eager to do so, and this one sounds excellent! Thanks for mentioning your other favorites, too. :)

Michelle said...

I also really enjoy retold fairy tales. Beauty by Robin McKinley
is one of my favorites.

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