How to Spin Gold: A Woman's Tale

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Station Hill Arts, 1997 - Fiction - 176 pages
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This startling new retelling of the classic Rumpelstiltskin story invites us to experience the power of transformation - the heart of all the best fairytales.
The spinner of the story begins life without a name. As the youngest daughter of an impoverished family, her parents simply never bothered to name her. She is shunned by her village, not only for her namelessness, but for a mysterious trinity of identifying marks: a moon-shape on her left cheek, a shortened left leg, and a left eye that has no color. Only Aurelie, the miller's cherished daughter, sees past the goblin strangeness of "the girl with the silver eye" to her core of power and strength.
Embittered and defiant, our narrator decides to leave everything she knows and throw herself at the mercy of the wild. There she finds the Wise Woman of the Western Wood, revered for her healing skills but feared as a witch. She becomes her reluctant apprentice, hoping that this enigmatic figure has the power to reveal her true name and identity.
Even as she succeeds her teacher as Wise Woman, the narrator's life remains bound in love and jealousy with the beautiful miller's daughter, who so effortlessly wins and scorns all the nameless woman yearns for. When Aurelie renews the bond between them at the hour of her greatest need, we learn the complex truth behind this simple children's tale.

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