Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Crimson Thread

The Crimson Thread: A Retelling of Rumpelstiltskin
By Suzanne Weyn
Simon Pulse, 2008. 207 pgs. Young Adult

Bridget O'Malley and her family, having fallen on hard times in Ireland, have moved to New York, but they find America may not be the land of opportunity for Irish folks after all. A quick name change to Bertie Miller and some elaboration of the truth by her father lands Bertie a job working as a seamstress for the textile tycoon J.P. Wellington. When a business error by his son could prove disastrous for Wellington, Bertie's father again resorts to fabrication, exaggerating Bertie's abilities in an attempt for the family to get ahead. Now Bertie has to save the business, and while she's not capable of doing it, Ray Stalls is--but is she willing to pay the price that he demands for his help?

Rumpelstiltskin has never been a favorite story of mine, but I do like this retelling. It's not as good as A Curse As Dark As Gold, but still, I like how it tells a story that really doesn't involve magic as much as hard work and talent. I also like how the Rumpelstiltskin character is portrayed, although I do think character development for his character is lacking. I also thought the epilogue wrapped things up a little too neatly, but I guess it's true to the "and they all lived happily ever after" element of fairy tales.


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