Friday, January 8, 2016

Librarian's Pick of the Week: A Curse Dark as Gold

Title: A Curse as Dark as Gold
Author: Elizabeth C. Bunce
Published: 2008
Age: 12+

This book was the selection for the William C. Morris Award in 2009, which is given to books written for young adults by a first-time, previously unpublished author. For more information about the William C. Morris awards and other book awards, visit the YALSA page on the ALA website.

Synopsis: "This supernatural novel retells the story of Rumpelstiltskin, setting it at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and centering it around the life of Charlotte Miller. When the bank wants to repossess her mortgaged mill, Charlotte strikes a bargain with the mysterious Jack Spinner, a creature who knows the art of turning straw into gold, but then discovers she must free her loved ones from a generations-old curse."

Review: "Too stubborn to let go of the troubled mill that has supported her community for generations, Charlotte Miller takes over after her father's death, fighting impending disaster with bargains with a mysterious Jack Spinner that eventually threaten her infant son. Set in a rural valley in the late 1700s, this reworking of the "Rumplestiltskin" story includes ghosts, witchcraft, elements of Georgian society, and much earlier folk magic in the guise of a novel of manners. The leisurely paced narrative gathers steam as it becomes clear that the family and the mill have not simply had a long run of bad luck, but are seriously cursed. Readers need not be familiar with the folktale to see where Charlotte's efforts to save her mill are headed. Though their roles in the narrative are clear, secondary characters are distinctive: foppish Uncle Wheeler is more than a stereotyped villain, and Charlotte's eventual husband is an admirable romantic lead with unsuspected talents. A rich opening to Jane Austen's world for teens." - Kathleen Isaacs, School Library Journal

If you're intrigued, don't forget to check our library's catalog for this book!


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