Title: Strands of Bronze and Gold
(Bronze and Gold #1)
Author: Jane Nickerson
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Rating: 5 stars
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. -Goodreads
This masterpiece of a retelling has breathed fascinating new life into the legendary tale that is "Bluebeard".
Set in the oppressive period of Southern slavery; this tale of calculated psychological abuse, mystery, and murder captures the reader in it's darkly intriguing web and refuses to let go.
Sophia is a girl with few options. faced with the prospect of abject poverty with the death of her father; the letter from her rich "godfather", offering her a home in his luxurious estate seems quite the godsend.
But looks can be deceiving...
M. Bernard de Cressac is the perfect example of sociopathic narcissism.
He holds all the cards in the little game that he plays with his unsuspecting innocent of a "goddaughter".
1. Sweet letters and promises of "a life of leisure".
2. Expensive gifts
1. Not allowing Sophia to leave the confines of Wyndriven Abbey
2. Not allowing contact with the slaves or anyone from the outside.
3. Allowing only limited and tightly monitored contact with her family.
4. Not allowing pets.
The thing that makes this book is that Sophia proves not to be the simpering innocent that her benefactor turned captor takes her for. On the contrary, she shows herself to be quiet, observant, quick witted, and thoughtful.
She proves a foil for every trap in which her twisted "godfather" attempts to ensnare her.
She receives help in this from a variety of sources, both human and otherworldly.
As captivating as it is however, Sophia's story is not the only one told in this read. There is the also the very poignant subplot of slavery and the freedom movement.
This is a truly wonderful book, cleverly managing to covey the story of "Bluebeard", while telling enough of a new story so spur readers on to book 2.