I read a lot of YA fiction and upon seeing reviews for A CURSE DARK AS GOLD, thought that I would love it. However, I have just come to the end, having taken nearly a week to finish it, and I have to say that I am more than a little disappointed.
The story is a retelling of the fairy tale Rumplestiltskin. The main character, Charlotte Miller is a young girl whose fatehr has died, leaving her responsible for the wool mill which has been in her family for generations.
Yet Sirwaters Mill is not your average mill - although it is falling into disrepair, any attempts to fix walls or looms usually meet with unsatisfying results. Its almost as though the mill does not want to be fixed.
As Charlotte struggles to keep the mill going and finances coming in, more and more obstacles are put up in front of her, threatening not only her wellbeing but also that of her other family members and those who work for her.
When things seem to really descend into helplessness, Charlotte is visited by Jack Spinner, a man who can spin gold thread from shabby cloth. All he wants as payment for this service is Charlotte's late mother's ring - something that has little monetary value. Charlotte agrees so as to help others, not just herself, and this is where her fate is changed forever.
That is a basic plot. And, in essence, A CURSE AS DARK AS GOLD works well. The idea of value and people diving to depths that you would not usually contemplate in order to save themselves is a good one. If there was someone able to get you out of all the troubles that life throws at you, how much would you be willing to give up? But despite this promising idea, A CURSE DARK AS GOLD failed to keep me enthralled. Jack Spinner takes a while to make an appearance in the story and by the time that the climax is approaching I had lost nearly all interest in what the conclusion would be.
Don't get me wrong - although I would not say that this book is particularly bad, I just think that there are better offerings our there. If you are interested in retellings of Rumplestiltskin, Elizabeth Cunningham's HOW TO SPIN GOLD: A WOMAN'S TALE is far superior to Bunce's offering.