Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Thoughts on A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

A Curse Dark as Gold has been on my to-read list and bookshelf for over a year now. I finally gave it a chance, but was sadly disappointed. I found the book rather slow, and even stopped reading halfway through, only picking it up again just to get it off my currently reading list.

1743390

Series: None

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Retold Fairy Tale, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Format: Paperback

Rating: 3 stars

Description:

This ravishing winner of the ALA’s William C. Morris YA Debut Award is a fairy tale, spun with a mystery, woven with a family story, and shot through with romance.
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.

Review:

A Curse Dark as Gold has been on my to-read list and bookshelf for over a year now. I finally gave it a chance, but was sadly disappointed. I found the book rather slow, and even stopped reading halfway through, only picking it up again just to get it off my currently reading list.

For those readers who really like retold fairy tales, especially Rumpelstiltskin, A Curse Dark as Gold is certainly a good, well-written version. Most of the story is just an elaboration rather than a true retelling — there is no huge twist on the tale — except for the fact that the word “Rumpelstiltskin” is never used, and names don’t seem to be the focus as much as past histories are.

One large problem I have with this book, which I suppose I should have with the fairy tale it is based off instead, is that I hate reading about poverty. I’m sure I’d enjoy living in it even less, but it’s a unique form of desperation I just can’t handle reading about and makes me feel very uncomfortable and anxious. A Curse Dark as Gold reminded me of Marie, Dancing by Carolyn Meyer in that way, which is another recent read that focuses on a struggling family in a similar situation.

All in all, I’ve been rather disappointed in Elizabeth C. Bunce’s writing style, finding it rather slow and dense at times. However, I hold out hope that she’ll write a third book in the Star Crossed (Thief Errant) series eventually, and that will certainly make my to-read list even if her other books don’t.

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3 comments on “Gwen’s Thoughts on A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

  1. aentee @ read at midnight
    August 15, 2015

    Sorry to hear that the book and it’s issues make you uncomfortable. I have a hard time reading about poverty because I always worry about how accurately it’s being portrayed- as I come from a relative position of privilege and can’t judge. I am still curious about the book as Rumplestilskin isn’t a fairy tale that’s given much focus in retellings.

  2. hermionefowl
    August 16, 2015

    The premise sounds so good, so it sucks that you didn’t like it. If the poverty is the main thing I might be okay with reading it, but I don’t think I’ll add it to my TBR :-)

    • gwenkate
      August 17, 2015

      It was the topic, but also the writing style — it’s very sophisticated but not very engaging. That’s probably a good decision. There are better books out there! ~Gwen

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This entry was posted on August 15, 2015 by in Author: Gwen, Review, Young Adult and tagged , , , .
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