Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze and Gold
By Jane Nickerson
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Source: Publisher
Summary: 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.

Review: Going into this one, I had no idea what it would be about. I just knew that it had a pretty cover and an interesting title, so I decided to give it a shot. 

When Sophia's father dies, leaving her and her siblings parentless, Sophia is invited to live with her mysterious, illustrious godfather. WIth nowhere else to go, Sophia decides to leave her siblings and go live with the man she hardly remembers. Once she arrives, Sophia finds herself welcome into the open arms of her charming godfather and his extravagant lifestyle. Sophia is soon falling for the man who took her in, but odd things start building up that make her godfather seem more dangerous as each day goes by. With four mysteriously dead wives before Sophia arrived, her godfather has many secrets Sophia can only hope not to find out. Is she really safe with this man who she thought she could possibly be falling for? 

Hmmm, where to start? First off, I was not expecting this kind of story at all. Sophia actually starting falling for her godfather? A man who is as old as her parents? I think that's just a tad bit weird. I get that age difference was big back then, but the way Sophia decided she liked her godfather seemed a little out of the blue and very uncomfortable. 

What I really liked about this book, though, was the time period and the references Sophia would make. This takes place in the 1800s where people write letters to each other and host grand balls. Sophia often talked about classic literature of the time (like Jane Austen, my favorite) that I have studied in my college classes, so I loved being able to understand the connections she was making. 

What seemed out of place, though, was how Sophia wanted to help out with the underground railroad and freeing the slaves. That subplot was really random and I think the book would have been perfectly fine without including that part. And there were other moments that seemed to drag on, so reading this book definitely took a lot longer than normal. 

Overall, I really wanted to like this book and expected it to be a really good read, but it was just lacking something that could really hold my attention. Sometimes things went too slow and other times things seemed out of place for the story that was going on with Sophia. So if you're interested in reading this one, I'd say you don't have to rush out and buy a copy. if you have time, it's an okay read. But if you've got a huge TBR pile like mine, you can wait until you have some downtime with nothing urgent to read to pick this one up.


  1. I've been hearing mixed reviews about this one! I have the audio book headed my way through the library though. I like that it's a retelling of the fairytale of Bluebeard, which I love even though it's really creepy!

  2. Oh bummer. I was most looking forward to this one and have finally gotten a copy! Hoping I might enjoy it more. Good review though!! Glad you liked some of it for the most part.

  3. It's hard when you have no overly strong feelings about a book, I think I've read a real variety about this one, although I might still give it a go

  4. I love books with a historical setting as well, but I agree that the age difference would skeeve me out. Nice review!

    Sabrina @iheartyafiction


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