From Napoli (Sirena, 1998, etc.) and Tchen, a lyrical meditation on the Rumpelstiltskin story with an expanded plot and a...

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From Napoli (Sirena, 1998, etc.) and Tchen, a lyrical meditation on the Rumpelstiltskin story with an expanded plot and a singular psychological slant. A poor but hardworking tailor falls deeply in love with a beautiful farmer's daughter, and asks for her hand in marriage. The farmer, not kindly disposed to the tailor, prevaricates, only agreeing when the tailor insists that he's financially secure enough to make his bride-to-be a wedding dress of gold. It takes thievery and magic to do so, and the experience takes its toll on the tailor, leaving him crippled and twisted. Frightened by his deformity, the girl, now pregnant with the tailor's child, marries a miller, then dies in childbirth. In time, the tailor's biological daughter becomes a spinner and attracts the attention of the king. Once the miller brags to the king that his daughter can spin gold out of straw, the story begins to dovetail more closely with the Rumpelstiltskin legend and loses its verdant inventiveness. The crippled, emotionally bereft tailor and his daughter never become as sympathetic as their situations dictate, as neither is particularly likable and the authors undermine their characters' internal integrity to service the classic plot line.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 1999

ISBN: 0688179045

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999