Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Amazon | Indiebound | B&N
The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .
When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.
Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.
Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.(from Goodreads)
I went into this novel without knowing anything about the tale of Bluebeard which is what this book was inspired by, so I didn’t know what to expect at the beginning and I think that helped a lot. I was fascinated by the beautiful detailed descriptions of the clothing and the setting, I loved that aspect in historical fiction novels and I’m glad that Jane Nickerson took the time to describe it very well. I was immediately intrigued by de Cressac, just like Sophie was, he was so charming, enticing, and sounded quite mysterious despite him being almost middle age. I loved that Jane Nickerson took the risk in writing this type of forbidden attractions into YA, I do love a great tempting novel, besides at that time in history women were getting married a lot younger. Pretty soon into the novel we begin to discover that there’s something much darker going on in de Cressac, with his sudden mood changes and expressions and attitude that comes across very vividly thanks to Nickerson’s great characterization; I knew then that there was something definitely wrong with him even if Sophie was too gullible to notice.
Around the middle of the novel though, once I figured out what de Cressac had done I began to lose interest in the book and kept putting it down very easily, it just felt like there was a whole lot of nothing going on for a while in the story. I wanted to see more of the supernatural stuff that was going on in the Abbey and I wish it would’ve gotten a bit more attention, I think it would’ve made the book unputdownable. There were also a few things that are mentioned repeatedly throughout the novel about the slaves, that felt like they were just added to the story to make Sophie look more angelic and compassionate. I thought the two main characters, Sophie and de Cressac were very well developed and came across the novel as believable and interesting but the rest of the characters felt very flat to me. I loved the beautiful setting of it and it would be a really good read for those that don’t know the fairy tale background behind the book, or if you enjoy retellings.Pin It