Title: A Curse Dark as Gold
Author: Elizabeth C. Bunce
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Length: 396 pages
Publication Date: March 1, 2008
Charlotte Miller has never believed in the curse on her family woolen mill. It may be crumbling and ramshackle and refuse to be repaired, but it’s the heart and blood of the town. When her father dies, though, bad luck seems to be nonstop. Just when things seem desperate, a man named Jack Spinner appears and offers to save them by spinning straw into gold in exchange for Charlotte’s ring. It seems like a small price, but Charlotte is drawn into deeper and deeper bargains with the mysterious man and soon finds his price too dear when it’s already too late. Desperate to save her family and the town, Charlotte must call on all her strength to solve the mystery of the curse and save her family.
Oh, I loved this story. I’ve always enjoyed the story of Rumpelstiltskin and this book told the story beautifully. Charlotte was an amazing protagonist, practical, level headed, kind, and thoughtful. She’s left with a huge burden after her father dies and never flinches from the reality of it. She cares not only for her younger sister but the whole town, as many of the villagers rely on the mill for their livelihood.
I greatly enjoyed the romance between Charlotte and Randall, who is a young banker who comes to collect the debt her father owed to his bank. He was so wonderful and sincerely good that I loved him from the first moment he appeared in the book. I thought the romance unfolded very well and was considerate of the time period as well.
I’m sure there were some faults in the story, but I enjoyed every bit. The author took her time laying the groundwork of the town, the mill, the family, and the curse before introducing the magical elements. I like being led into a world slowly and then uncovering the magic, so it really worked for me. I got the book from the library, but this is definitely a book I’ll be adding to my personal collection.