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

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  3,078 ratings  ·  277 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...more
Mass Market Paperback, 207 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by Simon Pulse
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Once Upon a Time Series
13th out of 23 books — 238 voters
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143rd out of 1,479 books — 6,477 voters

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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 5 of 5 stars
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Anne Osterlund
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
Sep 09, 2012 Elevetha rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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...more
it wasnt as good as i thought it would be.
Janus Vielle (The Blair Book Project)

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...more
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
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...more
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...more
Rowenna Hawkenswood "We'll ride the gath'ring storm..."
(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...more
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...more
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...more
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.
One of the weaker books in the once upon a time series.
Meh... It's hard to find a better word for this book. It's not horrible. I don't feel like it was a waste of time to read or anything. It wasn't phenomenal either. I didn't have very much emotion when reading this book, other than a couple times of frustration with the protagonist.

Bridget's father was the first thing I became really frustrated with. He would lie about so much so that they could get jobs. I really become irritated with people who are as pushy as he was and that he wouldn't listen...more
Bertie is a teenage girl from Ireland during the time of the potato famine. She moves to New York with her family, and gets a job as a seamstress in the home of textile tycoon J.P. Wellington. Everything is going well, until the business is in danger, because of the shipment of drab textiles. Bertie's father boasts to J.P Wellington that his daughter can turn the boring fabrics into exquisite dresses in a days time. This is an impossible task, but with help from Ray, a mysterious man that reside...more
Found this one to be too simplistic and unrealistic even for a fairy tale retelling. The setting was OK- 1880s New York City- as far as the immigrant experience aspects but the goings on in the Wellington mansion were too unbelievable.
First thing that brought me up short- Ray buys Bridget a YARD of silk thread for a DOLLAR?? In 1880? And it fills a spool and later is enough to help complete the decoration on a whole ball gown- we're talking 3 feet of thread, here. That stretches even magic a b...more
First of all, the back of the book wasn't quite as accurate as it could have been. It left the wrong impression.
Bertie travels to America with her family and they have next to nothing. It takes a while for the book to get going. She gets a job at a local place sewing vests and making minuscule wages. She gets fired and then her father gets her a job at the wealthy factory owner's "palace" assisting the head seamstress.
J.P. Wellington's son, James plunges the company into disaster and Bertie's fa...more
I completely love the Once Upon a Time Series ^_^ This book kept me in such suspense as to whether it was going to follow the original tale or give it a completely new twist.

Crimson Thread is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin so if you know that story you know some of what to expect. It is set in the late 1880's and follows the story of Bridget/Bertie fresh off the ship from Ireland with her father, 3 brothers and three year old sister looking for the American dream. Throughout all her struggles i...more
I was a bit disappointed with this book...

(view spoiler)...more
I gave this 2 stars but it was kind of hard to give it a rating. I felt drawn to give it more because I loved the way she mixed it up from the original version. I love the characters and the twist and turns. I actually did not guess the ending which is always nice for me. But I should probably give it less due to the errors that were abundant. First it was just spelling or grammar errors which drive me up the wall. Then it was all the historical errors. Read some of the other reviews cause I am...more
Bridget’s story manages to follow the basic lines of the fairy tale with a personal spin (no pun intended), while staying squarely in the historical fiction genre. Unfortunately, though I certainly have nothing against fantasy, Weyn adds a prologue and an epilogue from the point of view of a fairy who appears to have no purpose but to follow Bridget around and make note of her adventures as a descendant of the last King of Ireland. This royalty and fairy plot is largely pointless and could have...more
Bridget O’Malley is seventeen when her and her family immigrates to New York, seeking a better life than they had in poverty-stricken Ireland. As Bertie Miller, Bridget gets a job as a seamstress with the rich Wellington family and their textile industry. Her father works for them as well, and when the Wellington business and fortune is threatened, her father claims Bertie can “practically spin straw into gold.”

Bertie has no choice but to try, and overnight she is able to create the most beautif...more
The historical part of this book through me. It was like the author looked at a time-line of history, and randomly through in some "references" to make her novel historical. While I'm no expert in the refered-to era, I certainly know a lot, and I found it difficult to swallow that an extremely wealthy family would condone their eldest son and heir's marriage to an Irish immigrant. General references to the slums, work, strikes, carriages, it just all lost me. It was like several decades comb...more
Bridget O'Malley and her family, having fallen on hard times in Ireland, have moved to New York, but they find America may not be the land of opportunity for Irish folks after all. A quick name change to Bertie Miller and some elaboration of the truth by her father lands Bertie a job working as a seamstress for the textile tycoon J.P. Wellington. When a business error by his son could prove disastrous for Wellington, Bertie's father again resorts to fabrication, exaggerating Bertie's abilities i...more
Once Upon a Time titles is a book series I recently stumbled upon in my local bookstore. Rewritten for modern young adult audiences, these take traditional favourites, and give them a new spin or two, updating the characters, setting or action.

This time the choice was a retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin", titled "The Crimson Thread". The setting is almost the modern world, nineteenth century New York City, in the slums where newly arrived immigrants learn the hard way that the streets are not alway...more
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Translation to Spanish 1 1 Jul 07, 2014 03:53PM  
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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
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