This book showed up as a surprise in the mail. It was a Christmas gift from a friend. She had even gotten it autographed for me! I loved getting books as gifts because it means that someone looked at a book and thought of me. If I can have people think of me when they see a book than I can live a happy life.
Spindle by Shonna Slayton is a take on the Sleeping Beauty story. It takes place in the early 1800s in a small town in Vermont. Briar Rose has to work extra hard to take care of her family. After her parents died the well-being of her siblings fell on her. She had a plan but one day that changes and it feels like the world is against her. Her only supporter seems to be her friend Henry Prince. One day a mysterious peddler comes by with a fancy spindle that seems to offer an answer to all of her problems. However, soon girls at the factory start falling sick and Briar is suspicious that it has something to do with the spindle. Suddenly she is thrown into a story that she didn’t possibly believe could be true.
One thing I really liked about this book was that it wasn’t your typical retelling. Instead it was a continuation of the story of Sleeping Beauty. Instead of everything happening sort of like the Sleeping Beauty story it happens several years after the original story takes place. I think that is a really interesting take on a fairytale story. I would love it if more authors took a fairytale story and decided to weave it in with history like this author did. Maybe they even have and I just don’t know about it.
She took real events from history and decided to give them a magical twist. You could really tell that she had done her research and the worked both for her and against her. It is always good when you know the facts being presented are accurate. However, at some points it got a little out of hand in this book. The first half of the book moved very slowly and was basically about the feminist movement during that time. While that was a very important movement it was also not helpful in moving the plot along. Instead of working it into the plot better it felt like she just added in the scenes to fill up space. It ended up forcing the end events of the book to move along way too fast.
I also would have loved to see more of Henry Prince. I enjoyed the interaction between Briary and Henry but he didn’t get a lot of screen time in the book. I believe the reason for that is because the author was trying to create a very independent female character with Briar and while I am all for that…I am also a big fan of romance. And what is fairytale without the romance?
Overall, it was a fun read. It took a little bit of fairytale and a little of history and twisted them together to make a really unique read.
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