Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

ARC, 339 pages
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Published by: Random House Children's Books
Strands of Bronze and Gold, #1
Source: Own
For fans of: Historical Fiction, Retellings, Gothic

     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.

     Before reading this I had not heard of the Bluebeard fairy tale. I looked it up first just to see what I was getting myself into and holy moley, I was shocked. When I found out all the betrayal and deceit and mystery behind it, I KNEW I had to read it. And let me tell you, I definitely enjoyed it. 
     Sophie leaves her other family members behind when her father dies to go and live with her godfather Monsieur Bernard de Cressac to help keep their costs down. When she arrives things are very much different from her old home. But there is a mysterious air about Wyndriven Abbey and as it unfolds, things start to get more and more weird. Then out of nowhere, the mystery finally unfolds and Sophie is left in a compromising position. 
     For the story to be a retelling, it did not feel like it. For me not having read it before, it really felt like I was reading the original story. The story flowed so smoothly it didn't feel like a retelling. I was also very impressed with the writing of Nickerson. It gave off so much back story without it feeling like an info dump. This was so amazing because the book the background of the slaves, Sophie, and towards the end De Cressac. The only thing I'd like to know is how the sequel will come into play. The ending of this one pretty much sums up the whole story... 
     Sophie, the main character, grows so much throughout the novel. When she first gets there she seemed a little naiieve and scared to me. She believed anything de Cressac said. As De Cressac's true identity comes to light, Sophie grows by trying her hardest to stay safe. Her character grows stronger as the novel goes on. 
     Overall this was a wonderful retelling with a great main character and  even more amazing writing. This novel is sure to keep and hold your interest and leave you wanting more. 
Overall, I give this

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