Today I have a book review about a retelling of the classic Bluebeard fairy tale, by Hans Christen Andersen; Strands of Bronze and Gold. Here is the cover art :
And the 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.
This book just came out early last March; naturally I went and bought it as soon as I could. The writing was beautiful, with the perfect amount of mystery. Nickerson possesses the gift of hinting at the truth, without every truly giving the plot away.
Sadly, I made the mistake of reading the original fairy tale about a third of the way into reading this book, because I was curious. I would recommend avoiding that if possible, because the story lines are quite similar and it would give away the big plot twists.
Other than that, I highly recommend this book! I'd say we have a promising young author to keep our eyes on, because if her next book is anything like this one it will be another winner.
My favorite thing about this book was its setting-- 1850s Mississippi. Nickerson wrote about controversial issues such as the slave trade, but managed to balance the undesirable truth with lovely descriptions of old time south, such as the lovely dresses and grand balls and that time period. Her eloquent writing transported me to Wyndriven Abbey with Sophia, and had me rooting for this brave heroine.
I look forward to reviewing Nickerson's next book! Until then lovelies,
Ps. There was a perfect amount of romance woven into the complicated plot :)