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Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze and Gold

by Jane Nickerson

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2473146,499 (3.3)9
  1. 10
    Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost (Hollerama)
    Hollerama: Both are retellings of Bluebeard.
  2. 00
    Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday (BookSpot)
    BookSpot: Gothic historical tales both in the nineteenth-century and feature teenage characters who are unused to the society, circumstances they find themselves in. Both also deal some with class issues.

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
I haven't had much experience with fairytale retellings. In fact the only other one I have read is Beastly by Alex Finn. (which is amazing!) Strands of Bronze and Gold is a retelling of Bluebeard. Which is quite a horrific tale on its own without much tweeking. If your not familiar with the tale it's basically, in a nutshell, the story of a dashing and wealthy older man who takes a young wife, gives her keys to a room and then tells her not to enter it. Of course curiosity won and she enters the room to find corpses of his former wives, all of which did not die of natural causes. That's the super duper condensed version, but you get the gist right?? C-R-E-E-P-Y

I was very hesitant to read this book after seeing the many negative reviews. I'll admit that immediately after reading this I agreed with a few of them. However after a few days of reflection and allowing the story to fully sink in and process, I'm able to give my honest opion.

So here goes.....

Overall this book is a very intriguing read. I was quickly drawn in by Ms. Nickerson descriptions and attention to each minute detail. I felt like I was actually living through each experience the characters went through. I did feel at times that the book did drag on. In fact my biggest complaint and reasoning behind not giving this book 5 stars is the pacing. I felt like there was so much build up that the actual climax felt rushed and flat.

My favorite thing about this book was the Gothic, creepy feeling. The setting being pre civil war in Mississippi was absolute genius. Using slavery and the underground railroad to further show the wickedness of M Bernard. I absolutely felt I was whisked away to the old south living in extravagance and turmoil alongside Sophia.

Which brings me to the characters in this novel. I believe they were very well written and developed. I've seen a lot of reviews talking about how much they couldn't stand Sophia but I'm going to tell you why I did like her. Yes, she was a complete and total airhead. Way too naive and gullible for her own good, but that was the main thing that drew me to her. She went to M. Bernard's an innocent and over the course of the novel we got to see her grow and channel inner strength, she herself didn't know she possesed. Was she blinded at first by the extravagant lifestyle, the nice clothes, fine cuisine and never having to want for anything? Of course she was! What would you expect from a young girl who grew up extremely poor? There were times throughout the book I wanted to scream at her, when she learned all of M. Bernard's wives had red hair, like her own. When she learned that they were all dead and started seeing spirits, I believe I would have high tailed it out of there very quickly!
Like I said too naive for her own good.

M Bernard was a very twisted individual. Although charming in the begining his true colors quickly shone thru. Proving him to be a manipulative and controllling person, who truly believes he owns the world and should be entitled to anything he wants, even if it goes against another person's own free will. He is described as being a very handsome man and he Def uses his looks and wealth to lure his prey/wives. That's the thing with manipulation, you really don't realize it's happening until it already has. Which is what was happened in this book. If Satan himself wanted to tempt you, he wouldn't come to looking as a filthy demon, showing you the aftermath of the decisions he wants you to make. He would come in disguise as something beautiful, tempting you with things and desires that you could only hope for and all it costs is your soul!! Am I comparing M. Bernard to satan?? In a way. He offered her her finery, yet she was giving up all she had been, her freedom and her dreams. Although he wasn't taking her soul, Pieces of her would have died slowly over time. He separated Sophia from her family, excluded her from the whole world and made her fully dependant upon him, even to leave she would have had to of borrowed money. She made excuses, to herself bc she was excluded from everyone, for his moody and irrational behavior. And had herself completely convinced that she could handle him and keep his temper under controll. Manipulation at its finest. I believe the underlying point of this novel in some ways was about abuse. What's ok and what's going too far..

I was really drawn in by this novel. I found it to be very interesting and full of mystery. I believe I have found my new favorite genre in fairytale retellings. I have recently received a copy of The Mirk and the Midnight Hour by Jane Nickerson as well and I look forward to reading and reviewing it also ( )
  alliecollins8488 | Oct 8, 2016 |
So bad that in the end I just gave up...I thought I would manage too finish the books, but I just couldn't force myself to keep reading this garbage. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Feb 9, 2016 |
So bad that in the end I just gave up...I thought I would manage too finish the books, but I just couldn't force myself to keep reading this garbage. ( )
  | Feb 9, 2016 | edit |
This was my first book by Ms. Nickerson & definitely NOT my last!! Drew me in right from the beginning and captivated me until the last word. ( )
  MeezCarrie | Aug 31, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (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.
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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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