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Spindle
     

Spindle

3.8 9
by Shonna Slayton
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
01/01/2017
Gr 7 Up—Since her parents' death, 16-year-old Briar Rose Jenny has been the head of the house, toiling at the spinning mill and caring for her three younger siblings. She works hard to make ends meet, looking for odd jobs as a seamstress, only to face discrimination because of her Irish heritage. Things get worse when her fiancé, Wheeler, suddenly calls off the engagement for no apparent reason and finds himself a new lass to flaunt. In addition, her only friend, Henry Prince, is talking about leaving for Europe. Briar is tempted, then, when a peddler offers her an enchanted spindle that will increase her production and earn her more money at the mill. She does indeed grow prosperous, and she doesn't believe the bad luck the spindle can bring until she falls victim to it. Fairy-tale elements and historical fiction blend into an intriguing and enjoyable tale. While readers familiar with the novel's roots may find the story predictable, the romance will draw readers, and Briar proves to be a strong heroine learning life lessons about responsibility. In addition, the author calls attention to the working conditions of the cotton mills—a part of history with which many may be unfamiliar. VERDICT This engaging novel will draw a wide range of teen readers.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
Kirkus Reviews
2016-10-05
Slayton (Liz and Nellie, 2016, etc.) offers a 19th-century update of "Sleeping Beauty" in this YA novel. In a town in Vermont, 16-year-old Briar Rose Jenny works at the spinning mill to take care of her three younger siblings following the deaths of her parents. It's been difficult: Briar can't quite make ends meet, and when she tries to pick up sewing work from her neighbors, she faces anti-Irish hostility. To make matters worse, her fiance abruptly calls off their engagement and now flaunts his new relationship before Briar's eyes. What's more, the children's babysitter keeps going on about fairies and "Sleeping Beauty," and Briar's only friend, the goofy-but-chivalrous Henry Prince, is sailing away for Europe. Briar is tempted, then, when a peddler offers a solution to all her problems: "It was unlike any spindle Briar had ever seen before. The whorl was carved with roses and the wooden shaft, stained a light brown, came to an unusually sharp point on the end." The peddler claims the spindle will bring prosperity to anyone who uses it, allowing her to spin faster than all the other girls at the mill. Briar leaps at the opportunity to make more money and keep custody of her siblings, but the secrets of the spindle—and their connections to an old story in which Briar does not believe—may prove not just dangerous, but deadly. Slayton, a natural storyteller, writes in smooth, practical prose that nevertheless manages to retain the romance and mystery one expects from a fairy tale. The placement of the yarn in the context of an immigrant family in an industrial mill town makes for an intriguing contrast with the original version. That said, there's little reinvention of the wheel. The book rests comfortably within its genre, and things end up about where the reader expects them. Slayton aims to tell a simple, compelling story about responsibility, expectation, disappointment, and love, and she succeeds in doing so. A well-constructed take on a famous fairy tale and heroine.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781633754935
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
10/04/2016
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
282,511
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Spindle


By Shonna Slayton, Stacy Abrams, Lydia Sharp

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Shonna Slayton
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-493-5


CHAPTER 1

Briar walked the length of her spinning frames, keeping a close eye on the whirling threads. She'd been shut down more often than not today and tried to keep her mind off of her lost wages. It was Saturday, so they'd be ending early, giving her time to go home to the country and spend the night with her young siblings and their nanny.

All she did at the cotton mill, she did for those children.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw several threads break on frame number four. Her heart sank. "Drat."

Quickly, she pulled the shipper handle on four and waited for the spinning to stop. With her other frames, she could easily fix a few threads that had turned thin while the machine was running, but not this frame. It had a mind of its own and would likely pinch her fingers if she tried.

She looked around for Henry. He worked in the machine shop and had a knack for fixing this persnickety frame. His boss allowed him to come up to the spinning room and doff for her, tweaking the frame each time to keep it running. Most doffers were children, their small hands the right size for slipping through the frames and removing the full bobbins and putting on new ones. Henry, despite being seventeen, didn't seem to mind helping her even though the other boys his age gave him a ribbing. He had been her first friend when she moved to town with her family, and a loyal one at that, so she was thankful for his help.

Briar set to work tying threads and straightening out bobbins.

"Can't leave you alone for a minute," called a voice close to her ear.

Henry. He had to yell above the roaring noise of a roomful of spinning frames. He reached out and pulled off a bobbin, then pointed. "This here is your problem. Something's wrong with this spindle and it sets the others off." He took out his tools and straightened the metal spindle.

Briar finished tying the last broken thread. "Can't you replace it?" she yelled back.

Henry shook his head. "Already have. Every one I put in here goes crooked." He grinned. "Besides, if I fix it for good, I won't get to see you every day."

Briar rolled her eyes, which only seemed to encourage him further.

With a wink, he pushed the bobbin cart ahead and began swapping out the full bobbins for empties. While he did that, Briar started up number four again, staying long enough to make sure all the threads caught and were spinning evenly before moving on to check her neglected frames.

When Henry finished doffing, he waved to catch her attention, signaling he was done. She lifted her chin and smiled her thanks. Then he tapped the edge of number four — the same spot every time — and was off.

The only person completely dependable in my life is Henry Prince.

Sure, Nanny was always available for the children, but that was only temporary. Stiff and unyielding as the spinning frames, Nanny had only agreed to help out for a year, ending at Briar's seventeenth birthday. After that, if Briar hadn't come up with a more permanent solution for the children, they'd be turned over to the orphan asylum in town that would put them on the orphan train sure as anything. No one would take three children all at once. They'd be split up and would never see one another again.

Until last week, Briar thought she'd found a permanent solution. But now, instead of planning for a summer wedding, she was scrambling for ways to earn more money to bring the children back into town with her and was finding it nigh impossible. No matter how hard she worked at the mill or how much extra piecework she took on, it would never be enough on her own. Wheeler — her former sweetheart — had spoiled everything when he changed his mind.

Finally, the overseer shut off the power to the frames and the day was over.

Briar raced out the door and down the outside stairs to the mill courtyard, getting jostled by the constant stream of operatives leaving the buildings.

There was her room-mate Mim coming down from the weaving room. Briar waved.

"Let's go, then," said Mim, straightening her new Sunday bonnet that she had saved up several weeks for.

Mim was a few years older than Briar, the fashion expert of their boardinghouse and the only blonde in the mix. She was a gem with a needle and had been teaching Briar how to smock little girls' dresses, adding pleats with colorful patterns to the bodice and sleeves.

Briar had also worn her best hat to work. Not a new hat. It belonged to her mam, so it was dated but decent. She'd also risked wearing her best cotton dress, worried all day the hem would come away soaked in the grease that was liberally applied to the machines and often dripped onto the floors. They didn't have time to go back to the boardinghouse and change, if Briar were to make it home to the children before dark.

It was important she look presentable for where Mim was taking her: across town to where the wives of the mill executives lived and had their babies.

"You sure you want to do this?" Mim asked.

"Do what?" said Henry. He sidled up between them, his hands in his pockets.

"I'm looking for piecework," Briar said quietly.

He raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Don't you think you work hard enough at the mill?"

"You know why I have to take on more." It had been a long week and Briar was tired, more weary of soul than of body. She could push herself to work a little harder and, if nothing else, try to mask the hurt left in her heart.

"Let me —"

"No." Briar stopped him. Henry was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. "I can't. You can't. Your family needs what you bring in."

"Then let me walk with you."

Mim stopped. "You'll do no such thing." She looked him up and down as if to emphasize her point. He was covered in grease, wearing an old, torn pair of work trousers, and his shirt opened one button too many, on account of a button falling off and not being replaced.

Mim did have a point. It would be hard enough to impress these ladies that she could do the job neatly and cleanly without Henry hanging around in the background.

"Then I'll wait for you by the road to see you home. You are still going to the cottage tonight?" His forehead wrinkled in concern.

Briar nodded. She couldn't stay in town without telling the children first. They looked forward to her weekend visits. "Thanks, but you don't have to. Your mam will be worried."

"No, she won't. She'll know I'm with you." He turned and sauntered back toward the mill.

Mim snorted. "He doesn't know his mother, does he?"

Briar frowned, thinking of what she'd shared with her room-mates.

Henry had invited her to his house one day, not long after the children had moved in with Nanny. He was showing off, having never brought her there before. Their entire property was fenced off with ominous KEEP OUT signs posted everywhere, making Briar nervous from the start, even though she had already met his parents.

They had fed the chickens, petted the goats, and he was about to invite her into the house when his mother stood arms akimbo in the doorway. Her usual smile was gone, replaced by stern, set lips.

"Henry, may I speak with you inside, please?" she'd asked in a way that let Briar know she wasn't to follow. Trouble was, the window was open and Briar could hear everything.

"How could you bring her out here? What were you thinking?"

The white lace curtain in the window fluttered in the breeze. Briar stared at it, straining to hear more. As if of their own accord, her legs started forward, taking her closer.

"I'm sorry, Mama." His voice came out whisper-quiet.

"We don't know what causes a girl to be drawn to the spindle. You need to be careful who you bring here. The farm is not a place for a girl, especially a girl like Briar. Take her home now."

Henry had come out with a basket, the first of many that he would bring to the cottage filled with food from Mrs. Prince's garden. His grin faltered when he saw her so close to the house, but then he smiled wide and led her out of the yard. He never explained anything.

Nor did he ever invite her back.

From then on, Briar not only avoided the farm, she avoided Mrs. Prince, who seemed to have something against girls "like her." She couldn't figure out if Mrs. Prince was against spinner girls in general or Irish spinner girls in particular.

Briar wanted to tell Mrs. Prince it wasn't that she was drawn to the spindle, it was simply the only job she could get. Options were limited, which was why, with Mim's help, she was hoping these housewives would take the time to judge her by her work.

Mim rang the doorbell of the first house, a new, two-story brick structure surrounded by a manicured lawn and a dozen purplish-pink azalea bushes. Mrs. Chapman opened the front door. Dressed in a pretty green dress with a lace collar and puffed sleeves, she beamed at Mim.

"Have you finished already?"

Mim handed Mrs. Chapman the wrapped package. "Yes, ma'am. And please meet my room-mate, Briar Jenny. I've been teaching her, and she is ready to start taking on her own clients. Do you have another dress that needs smocking, or do you know of another mother wanting fancywork done?" Mim pulled out a sampler showcasing Briar's stitches.

Meanwhile, Briar stood silently under Mrs. Chapman's penetrating gaze. She stiffened as the woman's eyes roamed over Briar's auburn hair, her freckles.

Making judgments.

This wasn't going to work. Briar sensed it before Mim could.

There was no physical sign posted in the window, but Briar felt it in her being. She wasn't welcome here. NINA. No Irish Need Apply.

CHAPTER 2

Oblivious to Mrs. Chapman's reaction, Mim continued to sell Briar's work. "Look at how beautifully Briar makes the baby-wave stitch," she said. "Perfectly even: you'd think she was using a tape measure."

Finally, the woman shook her head. "I'm full-up on clothes right present. Thank you, Mim." With a final glance saying she should have known better, Mrs. Chapman snapped the door closed.

Briar shut her eyes, feeling the reverberations through her thin soles. And to think she dressed up for this.

Mim put her hands on her hips. "That's a surprise. She's always got work for me." Mim led Briar down the steps. "Let's try Mrs. Oxford."

Turning back to their side of town, Briar said, "I should be getting on the road." She had known none of these ladies would hire her. Too many immigrants had descended into Vermont too fast and some people didn't like it.

"Just one more?"

Briar pointed to her hair. Though Mim had done it up for her in a Newport knot, the style didn't hide the color. "They can spot me a mile away."

"Oh, pooh. They're not all like that." Mim frowned, and then looped her arm through Briar's as they walked back to their side of town. "How about I take in the jobs and you can help me with the work? What they don't know won't kill 'em."

Briar gave a half smile. "Thanks."

They were passing a group of town girls, one of whom was wearing the exact same hat as Mim. One of the girls pointed and said in a loud whisper, "That mill girl's got your hat, Felicity." The rest began to giggle behind upheld hands.

The girl, Felicity, said, "I never did like this hat much. Too cheap-looking. I've been thinking about putting it in the charity box."

Briar felt Mim stiffen, but the two of them raised their chins and walked on like they hadn't heard.

"They're only jealous," Briar said, "because you can buy your own hats but they have to wait for their fathers to buy theirs for them."

"You're darn right," said Mim. "Spoiled lot. Wouldn't last a day on the looms."

They parted near the mill. "Give these to the children for me." Mim handed Briar a small paper bag with three lemon drops inside. "See you tomorrow."

"You need to stop sending me home with treats or they'll expect them every time."

Briar waved and started down the road out of town, wondering if Henry had waited or not. She quickened her pace, eager to be with her kin.

"Hey, wait up!" called Henry from a gathering of boys down the lane. He ran toward her.

Briar smiled, surprisingly glad for the company after the coldness of the ladies in town. "Thanks for waiting."

He grinned back. "I thought you'd be longer, but I saw Mim headed for Miss Olive's."

"Doesn't take people long to make a decision. Besides, it was time we got on home before the sun sets." She didn't want to tell him the reason she was walking empty-handed, no piecework for her. They walked in silence for a while until she felt his gaze.

"What?"

He shook his head. "Nothing. I just wish I could help."

"Something will turn up. That's what my da always said." Briar stopped. "Oh, no."

They'd caught up to a young couple walking ahead of them. The boy, handsome, tall, and lanky, leaned in close to say something to the curly-haired brunette he walked with. Neither of them lived out this way, so the only place they could be going was the pond. Our pond.

The brunette tilted her head to listen, laughed, and then touched the boy's arm. Wheeler and Sadie. Sadie was new at the mill and worked in the carding room, one of the worst jobs. Briar couldn't imagine how Wheeler had spotted her so quickly. He never went near the carding room since he'd moved into the machine shop. Unless they'd met during break on the fire escape when he was waiting for Briar to come out. She didn't want to imagine that; it was too painful to think how his heart was changing while she was unaware.

Last winter, Wheeler had spent hours with Briar, laying out their plans while they sat in the parlor at the boardinghouse. As soon as he was able, he was going to transfer to the new shirtwaist factory to work as a steamer, keeping an eye out for a cutter job — cutting out thick layers of material for the ladies to sew into the shirtwaists. Aside from being a boss or a dyer, it was the highest-paying job at the factory. And when he saved up enough, he'd leave rural Vermont to go back to the Old Country. He and Briar and the children.

Both their families hailed from County Wicklow in Ireland. Wheeler's mam liked to tell the story of how Briar's great-grandmother almost married Wheeler's great-grandfather, except he proposed to someone in the dark, thinking it was his girl when it wasn't. The proposed-to girl was so happy, he hadn't the heart to break it off. Everyone said it was inevitable for Briar and Wheeler to meet in the new land and get it right this time.

His new sweetheart didn't have a connection with him like that.

Everything had been settled. They'd had everyone's blessing. And then Wheeler changed his mind for no real reason other than he needed time to think things over. Briar didn't know how to stop him from getting lost in the dark like his great-grandfather did. Or if she should even try.

"If we walk any slower we'll start going backward," Henry said, pulling Briar back to the present. He stepped into the woods and came back with a tall walking stick. "Not that I mind this extra time with you, but I do have chores at home."

Briar set her lips and didn't answer. She never asked Henry to walk her to the cottage. But that was the way with a Prince, as everyone said. They acted out of habit, and once a habit was established, it stayed that way. His new habit appeared to be trying to keep her mind off of Wheeler.

"They're ridiculous," he said scornfully as the couple in front of them touched hands for a few moments before separating again.

Briar's heart cracked a little more. She remained silent, but fingered the fancy comb holding up her hair. The comb that Wheeler had given her for Christmas. And now they're going to our pond. Is there no other place he can take her?

"You can hold my hand if it would make you feel better," Henry said. He held out his calloused, grease-laden fingers for her to grab. His hand had grown since the last time he'd offered it to her.

She sighed. Henry. He was there when her family moved into the valley and would likely still be there when they moved out. She was told there'd never been a time when Sunrise Valley didn't have a Henry Prince in it. From son back to father to grandfather and beyond, and none of them had ever gone anywhere. They were known as a reclusive family, hardly leaving their farm. Except for Henry. He was different.

Briar's family had only been in the valley since Pansy was born. They were supposed to be traveling through, but then Da got a job at the new factory and they stayed. Mam worked, too, but developed the coughing sickness from all the cotton in her lungs. She died when the twin boys were born, and then when Da died of consumption, the Jenny children were stuck there, like weeds that nobody wanted.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Spindle by Shonna Slayton, Stacy Abrams, Lydia Sharp. Copyright © 2016 Shonna Slayton. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

SHONNA SLAYTON is the author of the YA novels Cinderella's Dress, (Summer 2014) and Cinderella's Shoes (Fall 2015) published by Entangled Teen. She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

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Spindle 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Aditi-ATWAMB 11 months ago
Truth be told, I thought this was a proper Sleeping Beauty retelling, filled with magic and mystery and princes and not much more than the story we read about as children. True love's kiss in a large palace and all of that. And yet, Spindle, added in the real life element - the small factor of WOMEN'S RIGHTS with equality, voting and labour laws and the REAL STUFF that most women not living in a fairy tale endure. Set in the late 1800's, Spindle is the story of Briarly Rose, a young girl of sixteen whose parents' death left her orphaned, and in charge of providing for and taking care of her three younger siblings. She works ungodly hours at the mill, away from a family while a nanny looks after them. Whatever money she makes, she sends home so her family can be cared for and not torn apart. Shonna Slayton shows us the struggles of being women in an oppressed society - through the start of the women's rights movement, the evolving thinking of Briar and her friends - Ethel and Mimi, and I absolutely loved it. This was such a GREAT mix of reality and fairytales, and I would truly recommend it.
itsraymarie 11 months ago
One of my favorite thing about Shonna Slayton is her ability to flawlessly weave historical fiction with fairytales. This was just as much historical fiction as it was a fairytale Briar Rose is a spinner girl, trying to keep her family together. But her 17th birthday is looming, and she still doesn't have a solution. That is, until a mysterious peddler offers her the most beautiful spindle she has ever seen. I thought the industrial revolution was a great (albeit obvious) setting for this story. We got to see a lot of the inner workings of having to work in a factory in this time period, and all the troubles that went along with that. I actually really loved the female friendships in this one, and how they were a pretty big part of the story. We got to see the little parts of their day, like going to suffrage meetings and boarding together and working. I also loved how important family was, as Briar is doing all she can to keep her family together. In fact, the first half of this story had hardly anything to do with magic at all, instead being about, well, Briar, and I enjoyed that. There may have been a little too much Wheeler, but I like how that was handled, as Briar comes to her own decisions about her life and what she wants. The beginning and middle lagged a bit, and I felt the ending was too crammed with all the things left. But I liked this story, and the weaving of history and magic together to make a unique and interesting story.
TheThoughtSpot 12 months ago
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Spindle by Shonna Slayton! I wasn't expecting this book to be as good as it is. Impressive and creative fairy tale retelling - 5 stars! Briar, an Irish girl and an orphan, works on the spindle and is hoping for another job sewing for ladies. Briar struggles to take care of her three younger siblings and, since she's only sixteen, a nanny is helping them until her seventeenth birthday. Henry is Briar's best friend and cares deeply for her even though his mother doesn't seem to approve of Briar. Nanny is gone on business and Fanny has taken her place with the children, Since Fanny showed up, people are acting differently than they normally do. For example, Henry Prince is leaving their community even though no Prince family member has ever left before. The machines are not working well for Briar at the sewing mill. A peddler helps by convincing her to take a special spindle for her machine. Things go downhill from there. Other girls that work at the mill envy Briar's spindle, touch it and end up becoming very ill. Briar discovers that the people she knows are not all what they appear to be. This fairy tale retelling has historical fiction of the 1890's added into the storyline. The young women that work at the sewing mill are all dealing with workforce conditions that need improvement and the rights of women who feel trapped, with no options to live differently. Also, the women's suffrage movement and Polio are part of this story as well. Spindle by Shonna Slayton is the most creative retelling I have ever read! Set generations after Aurora's lifetime, the true Sleeping Beauty; I highly recommend it!
Erani_Kole 12 months ago
*received an ARC via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it* I really liked this. Set in the time when bonnets were the fashion and life as a spinner girl with the options of hard work or settling with a man was the constant, Briar was an interesting girl. I loved reading about her time in the factories because it was so new to me, or reading about an MC whose life was directly effected by the efforts of the women's suffrage. Really made me want to go and actually vote, considering all that my female predecessors fought for. This story was that convincing in its story-telling (it means more if you know that I can't stand politics atm) Briar being an Irish immigrant with her estranged family was another interesting thing to read about. Just so many things to take from history! And to mix it up with a classic fairytale made for a brilliant read that I enjoyed. Different characters kept things entertaining, with all their complex attitudes and ways of thinking. Who doesn't love diversity? As a history novel, I'd say it was really great with the more eccentric moments. As an urban fantasy reader, I will say that though everything was interesting, I did get a bit bored over the pages of details telling me about Briar's days in the spinning room the second (or third) time 'round. Otherwise, it was a great read that I'd recommend.
SammiiTX 12 months ago
Spindle is a retelling of the classic Sleeping beauty but with a twist, Aurora was real and it is now years later and set during the Industrial Revolution. This book was interesting. The writing was good and the story was told well, it was just very hard to get into. I found myself losing focus and interest throughout the book because nothing was happening. It was not filled with action and adventure like I would’ve hoped. Instead, it was filled with the same cycle of working at the mill, being with her roommates and then going home to take care of her siblings on the weekend. There were a few times that broke the monotony of the story, but it was mostly the same throughout. Briar annoyed me. She was either pining away for Wheeler, the one who got away, or stressing over the mill and her family. I get that she is 17 years old with a lot of responsibility on her shoulders, but make a damn decision on what you want to do instead of just thinking about it over and over again. I cannot stand when people don’t make a decision and just wallow instead. Other than her wallowing, Briar was a really strong character. She took on responsibility for three young children when her parents passed away and has been doing everything to keep them safe since then. That takes a lot and I wish that was more of her character instead of a wishy washy teenager. All in all, this book was good. The writing was interesting even though the spin of the story didn’t appeal to me. I wish Briar was a little stronger than she was, but hey, she was a 17 year old during the Industrial Revolution, there wasn’t much she could do.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Sleeping Beauty in the late 1800s! This is a alternative version of the classic fairy story of Sleeping Beauty, now set it in the cotton Mills in the late 1800s and having add a few twists and turns along the way! I was impressed how the author has created this alternative version of the classic story, keeping true to her chosen time setting and to the original tale. Miss Briarly Rose Jenny is the heroine of the tale, sixteen years old and working in the mill to earn money to help keep her twin brothers and sister together after the tragic deaths of their parents. Henry Prince is the hero. He also works in the Mill even though he’s really too old to be doing his current job but he keeps on doing so to be close to Briar. There are fairies, good and evil, great friendships and secrets to be revealed as love tries to find a way to protect the heroine and keep her safe. The story is an enjoyable alternative retelling with magic having what turns out to be an unacceptable price. You’ll just have to read it to find out what happens and how the evil magic is overcome in true fairy tale fashion. I found many of the historic aspects of this story really intriguing and believe the author shared them in an easy to relate to manner. The story didn’t have a consistent pace, some of the middle section seemed relatively slow going but it did pick up again in the end which is very enjoyable. If you feel like escaping into the land of fairytales with good v evil and romance, too, or to find out more about this time period, this is one that’s worth checking out! This is my honest opinion after reading an ARC of this book via NetGalley.
MELHUTCHINSON More than 1 year ago
This is a great story that let's us get a glimpse into what might have happened with a classic fairytale that we all love. I loved that Shonna Slayton gave us an imaginative world that was a spin off of an old classic. Although I thought the story was sort of slow leading up to the action part, it did flow very well. After I got past the introduction of it all, the story picked up and I was flipping pages to find out what was going to happen. Briar is a young lady that works at the spinning factory and is trying to earn enough money to keep her siblings from being taken away and separated. Briar has had her eye on one person for awhile, but he only has an eye for someone else. Briar works long hours at the spinning factory and gets little waged to show for her hard work. When a mysterious peddler gives her a wooden spindle and tells her to use it in place of one of the spindle's that is on there now, she wonders what could be so special about the wooden spindle? Briar is having to work even harder at her job when her section keeps breaking so she decides to go ahead and give the wooden spindle a try. When all the other girls in the factory start becoming ill, Briar doesn't think anything about it at first, but soon realizes that the wooden spindle might just have something to do with their sleepiness. Why is it not effecting Briar? Could this really be her lucky spindle? You really should read this one to find out what happens with Briar and all the other workers. I truly loved all the characters in this story and thought that they brought their own piece to the story as well. This was a great story once it got going and I am so glad that I got to read it! I can't wait to see what Shonna Slayton has in store for us readers next!!
VoluptuousBDiva More than 1 year ago
I love the cover but unfortunately this read simply just wasn't for me. I didn't find myself caught up in the story nor did I find the characters to be interesting. {I received an eARC via Entangled Teen through NetGalley. I made no guarantee of a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are unbiased and my own.}
onemused More than 1 year ago
"Spindle" is an incredible sequel (not a retelling) of Sleeping Beauty. 16-year-old Briarly Rose (goes by Briar) works at the mill with frames and metal spindles in late nineteenth or early twentieth century New England. Her parents died long ago and she needs to earn money to take care of her 3 younger siblings, 9-year-old Pansy and her twin youngest brothers, Benny and Jack. She stays in town during the week at Miss Olive's establishment with other young, unmarried working girls and visits her family on the weekends, where they are watched by Nanny, an older woman who stepped in to help when her parents died. She recently broke up with her fiance Wheeler, with whom she had planned to leave the small valley and make more money to support her siblings. Briar is often accompanied by her best friend Henry, who works at the mill as a doffer, and is a big flirt. From the get-go, you can predict where those two are going, and I loved their relationship. The first half of the book is setting up the scene and Briar as a person (as well as the other girls at the mill like Mim- who wants to be married and make them all prettier, Sadie- who has caught Wheeler's eye, and Ethel- who is hiding from something in her past). All the girls at the mill are questioning a woman's right to vote- some of them are beginning to join the movement for the right to vote, as well as to outlaw alcohol. This is an interesting plot point, as it becomes quite a theme for these young women and gives insight into the debate of the time- something which we now take for granted. The story has a slow build up to the real action with wooden spindle, evil (and good) fairies, and the elements of the Sleeping Beauty story we would expect. The second part of the book is incredible! I could not stop reading. Even though it had a slow start- wow! I loved the rest of it (and even the first part was interesting, just in a different, non-magical way). I LOVED Henry- what an amazing young man and friend. I was upset that Briar took him for granted and didn't see it, but very happy that she eventually starts to realize the way things really are/should be. I don't want to give anything away so I won't say more than that, but I loved this story! It works well as a sequel to Sleeping Beauty and answers the question of what happens to the world after the story ends? It's also a great story about being an Irish female immigrant in the US when women were disenfranchised and there was prejudice with regards to NINA (no Irish need apply). There are some pretty heavy issues raised there which can be paralleled to similar sentiments and events of the current day. It was an incredible combination of social rights, magic and the (unintended) consequences of our actions. I really loved the book and would definitely want to read more from this author! Please note that I received this book from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for my honest review.