A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Published by: Arthur A. Levine Books
Pub Date: March 1, 2008
Read: April 9-13, 2014
Format: hardcover | Source: library
Genres: young adult, historical fiction, retelling
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.
Since this is a backlist review, it’s been a few years since I’ve read A Curse Dark as Gold but I remember falling in love with it! In actuality it might be closer to a 4.5 but I’ll leave my original rating. Here’s my original review:
A magical, haunting, suspenseful historical fairy tale. I’m so glad I found A Curse Dark As Gold on Epic Reads’ retelling chart! It was wonderfully atmospheric and more grounded in historical setting than I expected. I learned so much about mills and wool work, and while that sounds boring at first it was very fascinating and pertinent to the story. I loved the details and how the mill was so entrenched in the lives of the characters, at times becoming a character itself. Charlotte Miller was such a strong, relatable young woman and I really loved her and her sister Rosie. I also loved how the story of Rumplestiltsken was woven in; it was believable and so very haunting. I’ve thought about it many times since… Jack Spinner cast a dark pall over the story and the air of suspense only thickened the more you read. Dark secrets come to light and you are slowly able to piece together the truth of the tragic Miller curse. It’s slower paced but I loved this book with its hints of magic (and romance!), its vibrant setting, and its tragic hidden secrets all wrapped in a satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended to fans of historical fantasy and fairy tale retellings!
Have you read A Curse Dark as Gold? What are some of your favorite fairy tale retellings? What do you want to see more of?