Growing up the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin was one I didn’t know very well. But once I began watching Once Upon a Time, on ABC I fell in love with Robert Carlyle’s portrayal. No matter what “Mr. Gold/Rump” did I was bewitched by him and he remained my favorite. So when I came across this book I was hoping it had the same effect. I was, however, quite sad that Rumpel isn’t very mischievous in Suzanne Weyn’s retelling.
There is no magic in this fairy tale, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, one of the things I liked best about the story is that she made it work in an everyday way. They had to have their talents, rather than magic to help them along. And the setting of 1880 New York, in the industrial period when women had very few career options really worked well.
There were some things that didn’t work out for me though. Bertie falls for a guy she hardly knows, which I understand can happen but I get sick of books always having it one of two ways. Either they hate each other until they learn to love each other or it’s a love at first sight kind of story. I’m fairly certain there are other ways to make a romance novel work. I don’t want to go into all of the inaccuracies but there were quite a few I noticed. One especially is the strapless dress. The earliest mention I could find for strapless dresses was in the 1930s.
All in all it was alright. Enjoyable for the most part while I read it but didn’t live up to my expectations. Robert Carlyle has set my Rumpelstiltskin bar very, very high.