October 4, 2016
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.
Spindle has absolutely beautiful cover art.
I am a person who makes judgement about a book based on it’s cover. It’s just like a first impression, you only get one chance to make a good impression. After that initial encounter, you need good substance. Spindle by Shonna Slayton had good substance.
Spindle takes place in 1894, a time when women were finally allowed to work and yet were still not equal in the workplace. That could still be said today, but I’ll stick to the topic of this book. 😉 Young girls and even small children are working in a cotton mill for 6 10-hour days at low wages. They pay rent to live nearby in a boarding house and hope to have even a small amount of money left over for themselves after they send money home to their families. Briarly Rose Jenny, our main character, lives close enough to her home in Sunrise Valley that she’s able to make a long walk home on Saturdays to spend one day with her younger siblings for a day each week. Orphaned and relying on Briar for their support, the three children are cared for by “nanny” while she’s away at the mill. This is the setting for about 40% of the book. Shonna Slayton takes us through the life of a young woman in this time period. We don’t actually see how the famously cursed spindle enters into her life for quite some time.
Briar is desperate to keep her siblings together and only has until her seventeenth birthday to secure enough money for their support, otherwise nanny will leave town and find homes for the kids. After losing her boyfriend and therefore her prospect for a husband and stable future, Briar must find a way to earn more money. She has no options and is downright desperate when the spindle appears before her. The spindle is said to work better than any other and will surely increase her production and wages. She doesn’t realize it’s the cursed spindle which put Aurora to sleep until it’s much too late. Can she avoid the needle that holds such power and appeal to be touched?
An entertaining new spin of a classic tale!
I enjoyed reading this spin-off of a fairy tale based in a realistic historical setting. An added bonus, Shonna Slayton spares a few pages before her acknowledgements to share her research for this story and the references to true American history. I think the only thing that could of improved this story for me would have been a thorough understanding of a spinning frame. It wasn’t until after I finished that I googled spinning frames. Here’s a visual for you. Now go read!
Kristin lives in the PNW with her husband, and three kids. She loves to read YA fiction, fantasy, and romance. She’s recently entered the world of “Booktok” on Tiktok, and is having way too much fun following the trends of young folks. The only shows she watches are re-runs, and if she’s not reading a book she’s listening to one.