The year is 1880, and Bertie, having just arrived in New York with her family, is grateful to be given work as a seamstress in the home of textile tycoon J. P. Wellington. When the Wellington family fortune is threatened, Bertie's father boasts that Bertie will save the business, that she is so skillful she can "practically spin straw into gold."
Amazingly, in the course of one night, Bertie creates exquisite evening gowns--with the help of Ray Stalls, a man from her tenement who uses an old spinning wheel to create dresses that are woven with crimson thread and look as though they are spun with real gold. Indebted to Ray, Bertie asks how she can repay him. When Ray asks for her firstborn child, Bertie agrees, never dreaming that he is serious...
When I first bought this book I was completely unaware that this was a retelling of Rumplestiltskin as the blurb of the UK paperback doesn't give anything away really, so it was only a few chapters into this book that I realised that this was a very loose retelling of Rumplestiltskin.
Rumplestiltskin has always been one of my favorite fairytales and they there never seems to be many retellings of it around because it is so simple and basic, there isn't really much you can do with it. Suzanne Weyn deserves some respect just for tackling such a simple and neglected fairytale and coming up with something original and fun. This book didn't have a great deal of depth, I really didn't connect with it that much but for the length of it it was a quick and simple read.
The characters in The Crimson Thread are very basically developed. Patrick, Bertie/Bridget's father is simply a dreamer and none of her brothers are developed enough to be able to differentiate between them. Bridget/Bertie herself is a very undeveloped and simple character, though she does have some fire to her. Ray is sweet and mysterious but that's about it and James is smooth but that's all. Due yo the underdeveloped characters, which I didn't really connect with, I struggled to come to terms with the romance which was sweet but also very simple and I didn't really care for it.
The writing in this book didn't grab me, it seemed too simple and stoic to engage a reader and so i felt detached from the story at most times. Weyn can write better than this, I know she can, but I just failed to connect with this story.
Overall, If I had to describe this book in one word it would be meh. I didn't care for the characters and felt detached from the story, so even though I finished it I didn't really like it. I do respect Weyn for tackling my favorite fairytale but I do not think that she did it justice.
Overall Rating: D
Book released in 2008 by Simon Pulse and re-released on July 5th 2012 by Scholastic, I am reviewing the 2012 Scholastic edition.
Book bought by myself.