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The Crimson Thread: A Retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin" (Once Upon a Time #13)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  3,982 Ratings  ·  327 Reviews

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 gol
Paperback, 207 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by Simon Pulse
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 20, 2010 Katherine rated it did not like it
This author was completely out of her depth in her attempt to write from a historical perspective. I don't care if the book is for young adults, you still do your research. The inconsistencies were so glaring and numerous that I lost track. A single yard of thread did not cost $1 in 1880, I checked; wholesale price for 3 yards of embroidery silk in 1896 was 5 cents. Oops. Hard candy did not come individually wrapped in 1880. Oops. A child about to turn 4 years of age is not a 'toddler' and they ...more
Aug 08, 2009 Cara rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Cara by: Ginny
This tale is magically spun. Forgive me for the pun. I just wanted to have some fun. Oh gosh I really need to quit that! But more seriously I really did think this was done beautifully.

I have to admit I was kind of surprised about how much I liked this story. Don't get me wrong I love fairy tale retellings, but most of the time I enjoy them I just don't think they are very original. This was different though.

Suzanne Weyn chose the perfect setting. Early America during our Industrial Revolut
Aug 21, 2009 Valerie rated it it was amazing
This book is the definition of short and sweet. There is no magic but that didn't disappoint me at all. Instead the author has the story set in America during the time when all the immigrants from Ireland (the protagonist and her family are Irish), Germany, Italy and all these others countries come in. You get a sense of what it might've been like. There are hardships at first but you don't lose hope.

I like the characters. There could’ve been more character development but for such a sort book i
Clare Holman-Hobbs
Sorry but it was boring and did not grip me at all.
Book Chatter-Cath
In this non magical retelling of the classic Rumpelstiltskin, author Suzanne Weyn has instead given the reader a story set around an immigrant Irish family, freshly arrived to the slums of 1880 New York.

While a clever idea, it is sadly mediocre in its execution.
The characters are all rather shallow and underdeveloped, making it difficult to follow the story that is mostly a narrative telling, rather than a descriptive showing.
The men in the family are all selfish and self serving, and basically
Sep 09, 2012 Elevetha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of fairytales retold, reimagined, or twisted on it's side
Recommended to Elevetha by: Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2008 Allison rated it really liked it
Shelves: genre-fairytales
I've been enjoying this series. The books are a perfect length, and the retellings of some of them are truly unique. Also, I find it very easy to get into them, so I can sit down and read one in just an hour or two. Although I've found some of the books...less than stellar (Spirited comes to mind), the last two I've read, Water Song and The Crimson Thread were teriffic.

I really liked the (admittedly stereotypical) story of an Irish family immigrating to America. I felt that the fabric-oriented
Anne Osterlund
Oct 12, 2010 Anne Osterlund rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bridget is an Irish immigrant, a seamstress, and a sister. With a little sister to look after, a set of brothers to support, and a father who has a knack for stretching the truth. A knack which rescues Bridget from the slums, lands her in a posh mansion for one of the wealthiest textile moguls in 1880 New York, and gets her into trouble. Because unless she can turn an error into a triumph within a single night, she and her entire family will be back in the slums. A challenge which means enlistin ...more
SUMMARY: "Once upon a Time" Is Timeless

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
Rating: 4 Mysterious Stars!

"Sometimes a little sugar is all you need, don't you think princess"

Sometimes, to give myself a bit of a breather, I take in those fondly remembered times of my childhood, when fairy tales became nearly believable, and there was always a touch of enchantment that just might happen. And happily, most of the time, I find those old, old tales to be just the thing to lift me out of a funk. This time the choice was a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, titled The Crimson Thread.
Jul 18, 2012 Jaime rated it it was ok
I liked the idea behind this book, and I liked the clever way Weyn tied the Irish immigrant story to the Rumpelstiltskin fable, but the historical inaccuracies drove me crazy. Granted, this is a retelling of a fairy tale, so a fair amount of leeway must be conferred, but since it is presented within the confines of actual historicity, certain oversights are just plain sloppy. As far as I could ascertain, the action took place in 1880/81. However, a character would not be able to reference Sherlo ...more
May 02, 2013 Jerome rated it it was ok
Dull and uninteresting, this novel bears little to no resemblance to "Rumpelstiltskin."

Suzanne Weyn manages to keep some of the traditional elements, and the upgrading of the story to a time and place nearer to the modern world, there is one severe problem with this story.

There really isn't any magic involved. Nothing.

There is a rich young man who isn't the prince that he seems as he manipulates Bertie, the characters are pretty much one notes and flit in and out of the story with little charact
Funny story: I only realized that I actually had read this novel when I was about a third into it. Isn't that crazy? Anyway, for what it is and for the audience it's intended for, I'd say it's pretty good. It's a unique spin on a well-known fairy tale, and I like the parallels I could draw between this and the original. However, having read quite a number of fairytale retellings since I read this one YEARS ago, I have to say that it's simply okay, and nothing I'd consider remarkable.
Apr 20, 2014 Rosemarie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought The Crimson Thread because I wanted to know more about Rumpelstiltskin after watching the character on the TV show "Once Upon a Time." Both the show and this version of the story are very good - although possibly very different.

At first, this book does not seem like a fairy tale re-telling at all. It follows and Irish immigrant family as they settle in America in the late 1880's. Bridget is the main character and she gets a job as a seamstress.

The plot is all about the textile industr
Jul 19, 2015 Maranda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2-stars
2/5 stars
You can find all my reviews here

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, b
Nov 04, 2014 Ava rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read it yesterday and finished today. It was simple and nice.
Except for the part when Bridget engaged to James.

Feb 22, 2009 Richelle rated it liked it
it wasnt as good as i thought it would be.
Emma Coward
Dec 30, 2014 Emma Coward rated it it was ok
I remember really enjoying this series in middle school, and I still love the concept (and, let's be real, the covers are gorgeous). Having re-read several of them over the last few days, I have to say I'm very disappointed.
-The writing, particularly from Suzanne Wein, is wretched. Awkward dialogue, terrible pacing, and bland characters abound. It hurts.
-Some of the books, most notably this one and the Diamond Secret, attempt to blend history with the source fairy tales. In theory, this is a ne
Janus Vielle the Erudite Artist

That was my first reaction after reading The Crimson Thread.

I can definitely say that this retelling was sweet, fun and very original. I could hardly believe that I read it in one sitting, coz I really don’t normally do that. ^^

I was satisfied with the new twist on this simple tale. We all know that Rumpelstiltskin was a conniving villain so it was interesting to see him on the good side in this book. He’s actually named Ray or Rudy or Rudolph here, but you’ll get the idea when you re
This one gets a 4.5, really. It wasn't one of those ones that I absolutely LOVED and felt like I wanted to read it over again the second that I finished it, but I really really like this one. It reminded me of the Eva Ibbotson novel "A Countess Below Stairs" - it gave me the same kind of happy, 'warm-fuzzy' feeling after finishing.

It's definitely a unique re-telling of the story. The main character is like-able, and you really sympathize for her in (most of) the various situations she gets invo
Apr 27, 2016 Dominique rated it it was ok
Ugh. So cheesy and predictable, even if you didn't know the story of Rumplestiltskin. I felt irritated at all the characters, including Bertie. None of the story seemed real--I get that it's a retelling of a fairytale, but it was all set in a false reality. Definitely would not recommend.
Theodosia of the Fathomless Hall
(N.B. This is the first review I've ever written from notes.)

Lovely cover. While I wanted to shake my finger annoyedly at Miss Bertie at her blind partiality towards Waterhouse's son, she was all in all a good main charrie, despite that. It was trés bon for the O'Malleys to be immigrants. About time for these heroines to have a little variation.

As a previous reviewer noted, this was the very embodiment of "short and sweet," tho' mayhap it was a little too short. I adored the reference at the en
May 24, 2014 May rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales
I'll be honest, "Rumpelstiltskin" is probably my least favorite fairytale. At one point or another, I'm irritated at every character in it. So the fact that I actually really liked this one is pretty surprising, and says a lot about this retelling.

Taking place in late-1800s America, Bridget, the princess in this one, is an Irish young lady coming to America with her family. She ends up in the sewing business, and her father finds her a place in a well-to-do household with outlandish claims about
Jul 30, 2015 Clark rated it it was amazing
As fairytale retellings go, this bookis way up there. I'm glad Bridget aka Bertie ( she should have stick with Bridget, I hate the name Bertie) came to her senses and found out that James was an idiotic, weak-willed, and hateful flirt and he was only after her body. I actually preferred Ray Stalls aka Rudy Stilchen (in his case, he should have stick with his alias) fron the onset. Atleast he treated Bridget like the princess she really was.

I wish though that Bridget pushed through with the weddi
Feb 02, 2014 Amber rated it really liked it
I LOVED this book! It was a fairly simple story and a quick read, but I loved it because of the whole message of the book. The moral I got from this story is that looks can be very deceiving, and that what a person is on the inside is who they really are. This was such a fun retelling of rumpelstiltskin with absolutely no magic whatsoever in the story. I think this is my new favorite version of that timeless classic story.
My favorite quote from this story:
A man in the story keeps calling Bertie
Mar 12, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it
Bridget's father brings his five children to America, where they struggle to get by. He gets a job by pretending to be Welsh...and the next thing you know his "Welsh" daughter Bertie has a job working for the same wealthy family as a seamstress. She's good with a needle, but NOT as good as her father claims she is.

The Worthington's are trouble for Bertie, both father and son want something from her.

And then there is Ray Stall, a tough young man from the Five Points neighborhood, who everyone war
A unique take on Rumpelstiltskin. Bridget has just arrived from Ireland with her family, and they make their way in the new world. Bridget's father's big dreams keep getting the small family in trouble, but Ray Stalls is always there to save the day.

I really enjoyed this story. The Irish immigration has always been fascinating for me. This story combines that with fairy-tales, another love of mine.
Dec 21, 2012 Alex rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really disliked this book. I disliked it so much that I started it in May or June and stoped reading it and finished it in August when I got tired of it being on my currently-reading list. I recommend this to those of you who are very patient and like little romance novels.
Rating: 2/10
Parental Rating: 10+
May 20, 2009 earthy rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, fairy-tales
Clever idea, mediocre execution. I love the choice to transplant elements of "Rumplestilskin" to immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York, but none of the characters are particularly well-executed or appealing, and the last few chapters are extremely rushed.
Rachel Evans
Apr 17, 2015 Rachel Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another amazing retelling of a fairy tale! This novel retells the story of Rumpelstiltskin, but in a totally different light. This novel follows an Irish immigrant family who is new to the US and dealing with poverty, starvation, and the historical prejudice that was a very common occurrence during the large wave of immigrants in the late 1800's. Bridget (or Bertie, to Americanize herself) thinks she landed a wonderful job and potentially has the eye of the son of the glorious house, but not eve ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 20, 2014 11:30AM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 12:48PM  
Translation into Spanish, why not? 1 1 Jul 07, 2014 03:53PM  
  • Spirited
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  • Spinners
  • Cloaked in Red
  • Princess of the Wild Swans
  • Thornspell
  • Straw Into Gold
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Suzanne Weyn grew up in Williston Park, Long Island, New York. She has three sisters and a brother. As a girl she was very interested in theater and in reading. Louisa May Alcott was her favorite author, but she also read every Sherlock Holmes story. Suzanne lived pretty close to the ocean and going to Jones Beach was one of her favorite activities Even today, if she goes too long without seeing t ...more
More about Suzanne Weyn...

Other Books in the Series

Once Upon a Time (1 - 10 of 19 books)
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  • Beauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty
  • Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of The Little Mermaid
  • Scarlet Moon: A Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood
  • Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of The Magic Flute
  • Spirited
  • The Night Dance : A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • Golden
  • Water Song: A Retelling of "The Frog Prince" (Once Upon a Time Fairytales)

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