Spinners – Donna Jo Napoli and Richard Tchen

Read for the Once Upon a Time X Reading Challenge.

This is a really interesting take on the Rumplestiltskin tale – it begins with a young man trying to win the right to wed his sweetheart, when the father would rather she marry the miller.    So he promises to spin her a wedding dress made of gold.    He is himself a tailor, but does not own a spinning wheel.   He steals one from an old woman, and through sheer determination, spins straw into gold, but makes himself lame in the process.    He is so obsessed that the young woman eventually spurns him, even though she carries his child, and she marries the miller.     She dies in childbirth.

The daughter, Saskia, grows up herself to be a great spinner, and her father (well, the miller – neither she nor he knows her true parentage), boasts to the king that she can spin straw into gold.     The rest of the story is familiar, but with the additional background of Saskia’s real father added in, it gives additional motivation – he wishes to have the family he never had, that he lost through his obsession.      It’s a great spin on the tale.


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