March 8, 2013
Thanks for stopping by for our Tour Stop for
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
presented by The Mod Podge Bookshelf!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
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.
I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions *
Prior to reading Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson, I will admit that although I have heard little tidbits here and there about the story of Bluebeard, I never really took the time to sit down and read the actual fairytale. So it was an absolute delight to be able to dive into this story with little to no experience in what to expect.
Strands of Bronze and Gold tells the tale of seventeen year old Sophia Petheram who goes to live with her much older godfather, Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, after the unfortunate death of her father. Thrust into the life of luxury, Sophia can’t believe the change that her life has taken, and how lucky she is to have acquired the affections of M. de Cressac, a man who has married four times in the past, and who seems to only have eyes for ladies who have red hair.
But the sudden crush she develops for him suddenly changes after she sees the true persona of M. de Cressac. His once kind and sweet demeanor changes to that of rage and fury and Sophia fears not only for her life, for the lives of those that she has touched.
I will tell you right now, I have found a new favorite author in Jane Nickerson. Her writing in Strands of Bronze and Gold were so completely addicting that I had a difficult time putting the book down. I was easily able to experience the emotional highs and lows of main character, Sophie Petheram. I was giddy and found myself also beginning to develop a little crush on one Bernard de Cressac.
With his sweet words and gentle ways in the beginning, how could one not help but get caught up in his actions. But after witnessing the way in which his moods would switch instantly, I also felt the apprehension and fear that Sophia would begin to experience while being around Bernard. I found myself constantly fearing for Sophia’s life. I was hoping against all hope that Bernard would never find out about Sophia’s secret meetings in the forest, or her nosing ways in the house.
I found myself pleading alongside Sophia when she would beg her sister Anne to keep her mouth shut when she speaks up to Bernard, or when Gideon Stone came calling to the house while Bernard is away. But I also found myself yelling at Sophia to get the heck out of dodge while you still have the chance. That the signs are everywhere, and that she is being told by ghosts of the past to flee for her life. I understand the need to provide for your family, but I couldn’t quite grasp the reasoning when even her family tells her to leave, that she does not.
I also found myself rolling my eyes when Sophia, after being so careful so as not to be found out, leaves the keys in the door…I’m not going to say any more about that, but once you get to that part in the book, I know you will also be shaking your head. Why Sophia? Whyyyyy?
I found the book to be a thrilling read that had me glued to the edge of my seat, and had my emotions jumping all over the place. I loved that the book had me constantly fearful for Sophia’s safety, and had a villain that I couldn’t help but crush (in the beginning of course…). I also loved the incorporation of the Underground Railroad and the need to stop slavery. I also enjoyed how there were many aspects in the book where things are not what they seem, and that those that you feel you can’t trust, are the ones that you can trust the most. I loved the constant guessing game of which individuals amongst Bernard’s staff were ones that Sophia could trust.
Fans of fairytale re-tellings and thrilling reads that will keep you up at night will completely devour Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson.
Top Favs with Jane Nickerson
You’re home alone, there’s a fire! Top 3 things you’d grab and save from the fire:
This is something I have definitely thought about before. It would have to be things that aren’t replaceable, of course. First would be my cedar chest full of nostalgic old clothes, including my old prom dresses and my wedding dress, next would be my trunk which contains mine and my husband’s childhood memorabilia, as well as our love letters, and last would be my carved wooden dwarf, which was found in a ruined barn when I was a kid, and which I dearly love.
Top 3 Favorite authors (dead or alive) and why:
In no particular order–L.M. Montgomery was the first author I ever read who’s writing I recognized as beautiful, and I still think she has an amazing way with words, ahead of her time. Next is Ursula K. LeGuin, because I do love fantasy, and she can weave a beautiful, strange, semi-dark tale like no other. And last would be Evelyn Berkman, who also wrote semi-dark novels, but of the gothic variety.
Top 3 Favorite snacks while writing and why:
Top of the list would be jalapeno almonds, which are unavailable in Canada, so I have to stock up on them when I’m in the States. I convince myself that they’re good for me. Next would be M&M’s, even though I can’t convince myself that they’re good for me, and last would be Smoky BBQ wheat thins (also unavailable in Canada), because…I like them.
Top 3 Favorite books that inspired you to write and why:
Harking back to my favorite authors, I would have to say EMILY OF NEW MOON. Montgomery’s characters and descriptions are glorious. Next would be Robin McKinley’s BEAUTY, which was the first fairytale re-telling I ever read, and it intrigued me to no end with the possibilities of fairytale retellings. And last would be Jane Eyre, because I loved it, but thought I could write Gothics with the magic of the original ones, but more readable for the modern audience.
Top 3 favorite songs to listen to while writing and why:
“Bring Him Home” sung by Alfie Boe, because it always makes me cry, and that sensitivity is good for writing, “Nocturne,” by Secret Garden, because it’s haunting, and “Hallelujah,” sung by Il Divo, because their voices are unbelievably beautiful.
Top 3 musicians/bands/groups and why:
Simon and Garfunkel, because I love their poetry, Abba, because they’re fun to sing along with, and The Civil Wars because of the feeling that comes out in their music.
Top 3 favorite animated movies and why:
Oh, for sure Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” would be my first favorite. There’s something so delightful about Belle falling in love with the beast while he’s still beastly. Next would be “Toy Story,” because it’s just so funny. And last would be “The Princess and the Frog,” because I enjoy the New Orleans setting.
Top 3 favorite dream destinations and why:
1. Highlands of Scotland—I have always been fascinated by them and would like to live in an isolated cottage there for one summer. 2. A castle in Ireland. I want to sleep in a bedroom where a queen slept. 3. A beach house in Indonesia. I’ve been told how beautiful it is there.
About the Author:
For many years Jane Nickerson and her family lived in a big old house in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where she was also the children’s librarian. She has always loved the South, “the olden days,” gothic tales, houses, kids, writing, and interesting villains. She and her husband now make their home in Ontario, Canada.
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You can check them all out HERE!
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