Something that should perhaps be made clear: this book is set somewhere in time where there are cotton mills, orphan trains, and when "No Irish Need Apply" is in full effect.
I walked into this story thinking that it'd be full of hardship the way a fairytale is often full of hardship, the kinds that are surmountable with a good heart and diligent hands -- but it's not.
Shonna Slayton does a great job of bringing that period of time to life. It's heartbreaking and filled with the little indignities that we've all dismissed as being in the past.
I found the pacing to be a little bit slow however, but perhaps that was due to the gravity of the setting. I also found myself frustrated with Briar Rose for not seeing what was under her nose, but I suppose I should have seen that coming from the blurb.
In all, "Spindle" was well-done, a very interesting re-telling of the Sleeping Beauty story, but I personally wasn't fond of it. However, I do think that this will appeal to readers who like their fairytales a little bit darker, their heroines and heroes to have to fight the petty dragons that plague us in real life, and who rejoice all the more at battles hard-fought and won.
In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger…
Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?
When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.
If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.