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Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
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Strands of Bronze and Gold

by Jane Nickerson

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1812865,444 (3.44)8
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    Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost (Hollerama)
    Hollerama: Both are retellings of Bluebeard.
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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Retelling of the fairy tale "Bluebeard." Sophia Petheram's godfather has written to invite her to live with him after the death of her father. Sophia gratefully accepts this generous offer, but almost from the moment she arrives at Wyndriven Abbey, things don't go the way she expects. Monseur Bernard, as she calls him, has a tragic past, with 4 dead wives and a dead son. He has violent mood swings, and the refuge she thought she was getting proves to be a trap. ( )
  TheMadHatters | Apr 29, 2014 |
Strands of Bronze and Gold was an okay read but with an excellent audio narration by Caitlin Prennace. I probably would have abandoned this story very early on because of the annoying main character had it not been for Prennace's wonderful storytelling. I also enjoyed the writing and flow of the story itself. I only knew the bare minimum about the Bluebeard legend before beginning this and I don't think I've really learned anything more of significance about that tale by reading this. Books like this make me face uncomfortable truths about myself, such as, maybe I'm just not a very nice person. The reason I come to this conclusion is that, when faced with a foolishly naive character, I usually root for the "villain" to kill her off. I find myself losing patience with characters who are so painfully oblivious that I think it is only fair that the much more interesting and complex villain get the pleasure of torturing and murdering her for my entertainment. And I'm often disappointed when it doesn't happen that way. Such was the case with Strands of Bronze and Gold.

I give the book 3 stars and the audio narrator 5 stars. ( )
  ahappybooker | Feb 7, 2014 |
Strands of Bronze and Gold was an okay read but with an excellent audio narration by Caitlin Prennace. I probably would have abandoned this story very early on because of the annoying main character had it not been for Prennace's wonderful storytelling. I also enjoyed the writing and flow of the story itself. I only knew the bare minimum about the Bluebeard legend before beginning this and I don't think I've really learned anything more of significance about that tale by reading this. Books like this make me face uncomfortable truths about myself, such as, maybe I'm just not a very nice person. The reason I come to this conclusion is that, when faced with a foolishly naive character, I usually root for the "villain" to kill her off. I find myself losing patience with characters who are so painfully oblivious that I think it is only fair that the much more interesting and complex villain get the pleasure of torturing and murdering her for my entertainment. And I'm often disappointed when it doesn't happen that way. Such was the case with Strands of Bronze and Gold.

I give the book 3 stars and the audio narrator 5 stars. ( )
  ahappybooker | Feb 7, 2014 |
*many thanks to Random House & NetGalley for allowing early access to this title*

I've been wondering what I could possibly say that would add to the discussion about this book. To be honest, it's one I probably wouldn't have chosen for review if I hadn't received a galley. It almost feels like everything has been said. I'll give it a shot, but this may be short!

Before we proceed, you should know that this is a retelling of the Bluebeard fairy tale. It says so in the synopsis, so it's not at all spoilery to state that. You may also know that Bluebeard famously murdered his wives and kept their bodies hanging in a special room. If you want to know more about the tale, go to THIS site. It's a less gruesome version of the story.

It's immediately apparent who is playing the Bluebeard role in this retelling. Monsieur de Cressac is clearly the villain, though we're made to believe he's this fabulously wonderful rich man who will make all of Sophia's problems disappear. He starts displaying his possessive tendencies almost immediately, and I hated him from the beginning. I think I'd have hated him even if he hadn't been the obvious Bluebeard.

Then there's Sophia/Sophie/What's-her-face. She was so incredibly naive. She didn't see anything inherently wrong with going to live with an unmarried man without adequate chaperons. Keep in mind that this was a time period when that would bring the worst sort of scandals down on a girl. She seemed wishy-washy to me, never sure of her own mind or what she wanted. Obviously, she's going to do what she can to survive, but she seemed to give in all too quickly. Even at the end, she was still trying to make excuses for de Cressac. Girl, please! The man tries to kill you and you're giving him the benefit of the doubt?!

Ai yi yi.

The setting was cool. The Deep South during that time period intrigues me. I wish we could have seen more of the area outside Wyndriven Abbey, but I get why we were confined. That part made sense to me. I think the whole abbey part (I don't want to get into detail about the building itself, because it's a really cool detail that I don't want to spoil) added to the mystery and horror of the story.

All in all, a book that was pretty okay, but one that I expected more from. 3 Eiffel Towers



Content Advisory
Language: Mild
Sexuality: Mild
Violence: Heavy ( )
  emmyson | Oct 9, 2013 |
Strands of Bronze and Gold was an okay read but with an excellent audio narration by Caitlin Prennace. I probably would have abandoned this story very early on because of the annoying main character had it not been for Prennace's wonderful storytelling. I also enjoyed the writing and flow of the story itself. I only knew the bare minimum about the Bluebeard legend before beginning this and I don't think I've really learned anything more of significance about that tale by reading this. Books like this make me face uncomfortable truths about myself, such as, maybe I'm just not a very nice person. The reason I come to this conclusion is that, when faced with a foolishly naive character, I usually root for the "villain" to kill her off. I find myself losing patience with characters who are so painfully oblivious that I think it is only fair that the much more interesting and complex villain get the pleasure of torturing and murdering her for my entertainment. And I'm often disappointed when it doesn't happen that way. Such was the case with Strands of Bronze and Gold.

I give the book 3 stars and the audio narrator 5 stars. ( )
  a.happy.booker | Sep 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
When 17-year-old Sophia’s father dies, she is sent from Boston to Wyndriven Abbey, the Mississippi plantation of her godfather, Monsieur Bernard de Cressac. There, Sophia becomes more and more suspicious of the plantation slaves’ living and working conditions, the vine-shrouded outbuildings she is not allowed to explore, and the various treasures belonging to Bernard’s former wives, all dead, that she finds in the attic. In spite of her uneasy attraction to Bernard’s increasingly romantic intentions, Sophia finds herself falling for Gideon Stone, the local minister. With nods to such classics as Rebecca and Gone with the Wind, first-time novelist Nickerson adds a strictly American spin to her version of the Bluebeard fairy tale. With headstrong Sophia, handsome rake Monsieur de Cressac, and sweet, courageous Reverend Stone wrapped in a romantic love triangle; the glamorous Mississippi plantation as a cover for the somewhat sanitized horrors of slavery; and an increasingly obvious murder mystery; this will beckon readers of historical fiction, romance, and mystery alike. Grades 9-12.
added by kthomp25 | editBooklist, Frances Bradburn
 
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After the death of her father in 1855, seventeen-year-old Sophia goes to live with her wealthy and mysterious godfather at his gothic mansion, Wyndriven Abbey, in Mississippi, where many secrets lie hidden.

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