Number of Pages: 306
Date Started: December 19, 2016
Date Finished: December 22, 2016
Synopsis: (From Amazon)
The mystery of Rosamund Hodge’s Crimson Bound meets the romance of the best Beauty and the Beast retellings.
An old tale tells the story of how a little man named Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold and tricked a desperate girl into trading away her baby. But that’s not exactly how it happened.
The real story began with a drunken father who kept throwing money away on alcohol and women, while his daughter, Aoife, ran the family farm on her own. When he gambled away everything they owned to the Duke, it was up to her to spin straw into gold to win it all back.
With her wits and the help of a magical guardian, she outsmarted the Duke and saved the day.
Her guardian suddenly turned on Aoife and sent her on a quest to find his name, the clues to which were hidden deep in the woods, a moldy dungeon, and a dead woman’s chamber.
Her feelings for one of the men who tricked her from the start threaten to complicate everything. Not the tale of a damsel in distress, this is the story of a tenacious, young woman who solved a mystery so great that not even the enchanted man who spun straw into gold could figure it out.
Not until Aoife came along.
Aoife is a relatable protagonist who wants to decide what she does with her future, instead of allowing herself to be roped into marriage with a disagreeable gentleman. She is intelligent and understands how to make the most out of what one has, but while she could easily survive elsewhere, her family ties hold her strongly in place. The story began to deviate from the original and I was so excited… just to be smacked back into the regular story.
Unfortunately, while Aoife is a great protagonist, the rest of the characters in the story don’t seem to have personality, and they don’t grow throughout the novel. While one might expect that a being such as Rumpelstiltskin likely doesn’t have many manners because he hasn’t spent a lot of time around people, it seemed that the duke was constantly acting like a petulant child. Luckily, the duke does begin to realize that changing his behaviour does get him the correct attention he craves.
All said, I quite enjoyed this book and when I began it I was almost late to ballet class because I couldn’t put it down. Good read, and one I feel that reluctant readers who enjoyed fairy tales might really like.
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Bonnie grew up a shy, quiet girl who the teachers always seated next to the noisy boys because they knew she was too afraid to talk to anyone. She always had a lot she wanted to say but was too afraid to share it for fear she might die of embarrassment if people actually noticed her. Somewhere along the line, perhaps after she surprised her eighth grade class by standing up to a teacher who was belittling a fellow student, she realized that she had a voice and she didn’t burst into flames when her classmates stared at her in surprise.
Not long after that, she began spinning tales, some of which got her into trouble with her mom. Whether persuading her father to take her to the candy store as a little girl or convincing her parents to let her move from Los Angeles to Manhattan to pursue a career at eighteen as a ballet dancer with only $200 in her pocket, Bonnie has proven that she knows how to tell a compelling story.
Now she spends her time reading and making up stories for her two children at night. By day she is an English teacher who never puts the quiet girls next to the noisy boys and works hard to persuade her students that stories, whether they are the ones she teaches in class or the ones she tells to keep them from daydreaming, are better escapes than computers, phones, and social media.