March 26, 2009

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 12:48 am by suebe2

curseA Curse Dark as Gold ( AR 5 . 9 )

by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Arthur A Levine/Scholastic

 

I love retellings of fairy and folktales but only the very best hold me to the end.  After all, you know the story so you know what is going to happen.

Bunce has done a praiseworthy job in this Rumplestiltskin retelling.  You know how the story should end, but can it end that way when so much has gone so wrong? 

Curse  is set in Shearing, a fictitious town built around a woolen mill, a mill that Charlotte Miller must fight to keep after the death of her father, the last man in the family. 

Part-fantasy, part-romance, with a good dash of mystery thrown in, this retelling will keep you turning pages until the end, hard though it may be to go on.

I know that part of the difficulty was my own, a young reader wouldn’t have my experiences as a wife and mother.  But as such, it was hard for me to watch Charlotte hide things from her husband. 

This book is suitable for advanced middle grade readers.  Although Charlotte marries in the course of the book and later has a son, it is up to the reader to connect the dots.  Or not. 

But the book would also satisfy young adult and even adult readers.  Charlotte functions as a full adult in her society, making her own decisions, with the entire town of Shearing relying on her judgement. 

This was one of my favorite books last year and one I was happy to read again so soon.

–SueBE

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