This is not a book I'd recommend; I'd suggest it, of course, for reader's advisory purposes to people (especially youthful people--I actually think it would work better for middle-grade readers than teens) who were interested in re-tellings of classic fairytales, but it was something of a disappointment for me. It might've been less so if I hadn't read A Curse as Dark as Gold
, which is a gorgeous Rumplestiltskin remix, several months back, but in terms of writing, it just wasn't up to par with the books I've been reading lately.
The plot is focused on Bridget O'Malley, the eldest daughter of an ambitious, bragging man who I think was supposed to be sympathetic, but read to me as your run of the mill ass. Anyway, Bridget's mother has died and she and her three brothers and toddler sister have immigrated with their father from Ireland to America. America, as it turns out, is less than friendly to the Irish, and things are going quite badly for the family when Bridget's father finds an employer and, of course, makes outlandish claims to the man (who happens to own a textile company) about his daughter's sewing skills. There's a mysterious man with a fake name who keeps showing up when Bridget needs help, blah blah blah.
I did enjoy reading this, so I wish I could do it more justice in this review, but when I think about it, all I can see is how obvious the plot was, how (even though the story doesn't follow the Rumplestiltskin plot exactly) I knew exactly what was going to happen from the very beginning. I think the author didn't move far enough away from the classic tale and I think the foreshadowing was clunky and obvious.
I thought writing was also stilted, and I found the dialogue to be unbelievable, considering the social status and education-level of the characters. The drama was not exactly dramatic--there was a lot of tension missing from the story. I also found the name relevation(s) to be cutesy and contrived.
I guess, yeah, I guess I didn't much like this book.