Last night I finished the debut novel (and award winner) A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce.
When their father dies, it is up to sisters Charlotte and Rosie Miller to save the woolen mill – and the livelihoods of their village. Long plagued by rumors of a curse, the mill’s history is filled with misfortunes. No previous miller has had a son live to inherit the mill. The buildings appear in constant disrepair – regardless of the improvements made upon them. Charlotte and Rosie encounter more of the same.
As one tragic circumstance after another seems to befall the Millers, they agree to help from a stranger who calls himself Jack Spinner. Is this mysterious and magical man really there to help them, or is he just another part of the infamous curse?
This is a Rumpelstiltskin type tale set during the Industrial Age. Knowing the basis of the original tale, I could guess what might happen in the story…but I was still surprised when it did! Charlotte and Rosie’s characters are well written, and their strength makes the story more realistic. This is a delightfully written story. I can understand why it won an award! The author did a great job of taking a well known fairytale and making it her own.