Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Curse Dark As Gold Review

A Curse Dark As GoldA Curse Dark As Gold

This ravishing winner of the ALA's William C. Morris YA Debut Award is a fairy tale, spun with a mystery, woven with a family story, and shot through with romance.

Charlotte Miller has always scoffed at talk of a curse on her family's woolen mill, which holds her beloved small town together. But after her father's death, the bad luck piles up: departing workers, impossible debts, an overbearing uncle. Then a stranger named Jack Spinner offers a tempting proposition: He can turn straw into gold thread, for the small price of her mother's ring. As Charlotte is drawn deeper into her bargains with Spinner-and a romance with the local banker-she must unravel the truth of the curse on the mill and save the community she's always called home.

My Review: 8.5/10
This high of a rating usually means that this is something i will want to read again and again. not the case here. part of me wishes i had never started reading it to begin with. despite a happily resolved ending filled with hope and a bright future, with the skeletons of the past peacefully buried, the story is riddled with sinister and violent happenings. the creepy tone that seeps forth from the pages was too all-consuming.

elizabeth bunce did an amazing job with the story telling and i agree with her that this is a much better rendition of rumpelstiltskin. but the stories i read latch themselves firmly on to my being, and it is my nature to prefer novels with more light than darkness, more humor than despair and more hope than fear. to anyone who does not share my easily affected constitution, i would recommend this book.

i disagree with ms bunce as well as many other reviewers regarding the names. i know that in history a lot of people did get their last names from their professions, and this certainly helped me to remember who they were quicker, but i didnt feel that these direct names gave them strength or made them more solid. quite the contrary, i felt that it made them seem more indistinct, like vapor; most of these names, i will not remember or think of again.

charlotte, rosie, and randall are all characters worth knowing and growing attached to. and the messages of honesty, family, forgiveness and justice are all themes we could do with more of in our lives.

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