Monday, September 7, 2020

MINUET synopsis


Magic silkworms spin love in the most romantic way. 



When Velvet Briar Rose needs a dress for the Cotswolds Ballroom Dance, her wicked aunt admits that she has kept the magic silkworms from her and her mother, who spins dresses all days long for little money. Her aunt lies and tells her niece that the silkworms are known to make one dress per lifetime that brings true love. Since her mother has already had the silkworms make a wedding dress, her aunt says that her mother has lost her chance, but Velvet still has one magic dress that can be spun. The aunt reluctantly gives Velvet the jar of worms, thinking she will get them back without her mother knowing. After the silkworms make both Velvet and her mother Emma dresses for the ball, they both have suitors, and the deception of the aunt is known. Without the worms, her husband goes to jail for fraudulent business dealings, and Velvet and her mother are no longer destined for a life of spinning at a wheel. 



Night and day, Emma Souster spins thread on a spinning wheel in her home, causing calluses on her hands. Her thread makes cotton frocks for the women of Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds in England. Because she is always too busy spinning for someone else, her daughter, Velvet Briar Rose Souster, wears clothes made from the scraps. Most of the time, Velvet even sews them together herself. Now 15 years old, she needs a pretty dress for the winter Cotswolds Ballroom Dance. When Velvet was two years old, her father died of pneumonia in the winter frost. Heartbroken as could be, her mother never remarried, leaving Velvet and her mother to fend for themselves alone. However, her aunt lives in London, and her uncle is a wealthy banker, so Velvet often spends time on the train visiting her aunt and uncle, hardly making ends meet for herself and her mother. 


According to her aunt, a fairy godmother gave magic silkworms to Velvet’s grandmother in her youth, and her grandmother gave them to her aunt for safekeeping, not her mother. Years ago, the silkworms spun a wedding dress for Velvet’s mother, but when her father died the “one-dress-in-a-lifetime” magic of the silkworms’ spinning had already run out for her mother, or so her mother had been told. Velvet promises her aunt not to tell her mother about borrowing the silkworms and will return them on her next trip to London. Her aunt secretly plans to never talk to Velvet again once she gets back the magic silkworms. 


Upon returning home, Velvet finds her mother spinning at her wheel. The morning of the dance, she wakes up looking for answers from the magic silkworms. The worms, which she hid under her bedroom floorboards, are gone. As Velvet walks into the cottage kitchen, she finds her mother sitting at the spinning wheel, glowing. The magic silkworms visited Velvet and her mother, making each of them a glorious dress for the dance. As it turns out, Velvet meets a suitor at the dance who courts her, and so does her mother. In the meantime, Velvet’s mother receives word that her sister’s husband has gone to jail for fraudulent business dealings. In fact, Velvet’s disheveled aunt busts into the cottage one afternoon unannounced when Emma is out doing errands at the market. When Emma comes back from town, she walks through the door with her suitor on her arm. The evil auntie runs from the cottage without taking the silkworms with her. To this day, the magic silkworms will spin a dress for anyone looking for love.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

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