Book Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold, by Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze and Gold

Strands of Bronze and Gold, by Jane Nickerson
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.

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (March 12, 2013)

SLJ Teen, February 5, 2013:
Jane Nickerson adroitly weaves the threads of the ‘Bluebeard’ story into Strands of Bronze and Gold to create a spellbinding tapestry of mystery, romance, and suspense…A grippingly gothic tale, with a lavishly described and lushly atmospheric setting and likable heroine.”  

About the Author:

For many years, JANE NICKERSON and her family lived in a big old house in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where she worked as the children’s librarian at the local public library. 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. 


My Thoughts:
If I was given only one word to describe this book, this would be it: captivating.  From the moment I picked this book up, I could not set it down.  I dragged it around with me for an entire day, reading while I cooked dinner and pretended to vacuum.  I must admit that I didn’t get much sleep in that 24 hours because I was glued to the page.  

I loved this book!  It was beautiful and mysterious and dark and thrilling all at the same time.  Bernard is so seductive and so creepy.  He was fantastic.  I found Sophia to be a very believable teenage girl.  She chose to ignore the signs and feelings she had as she continued to make excuses for Bernard’s wacky behavior.

I’m giving this book 4 stars.  The only drawback for me was that some of the descriptions got a little too long. Seriously though, if you are looking for a good young adult novel, I would recommend this!

Parents: Some innuendo throughout the book, a bit of kissing, and one instance of attempted rape.  It is pretty dark, but not over the top.

The Cover: Love this cover!  It caught my eye immediately and I was instantly intrigued.  I have to admit that I am a sucker for a pretty cover.

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  • Reply
    March 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Dena I agree I am really looking forward to reading the next book and the cover is gorgeous. Now I loved the deets, and agree Sophia really did turn a blind eye at times and ignored her instincts, but i think we all do that at times, especially where family is involved. Great review!

  • Reply
    Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)
    March 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    You don't know how much I LOVE THAT YOU LOVE this book. It does sound a little dark but it's not too much so I'm fine with that. It makes sense that Sophia would ignore the bad side of that creepy guy and maybe only look to the good side. It wrings true in how girl's see guys unfortunately.
    I didn't know it was a retelling and of Bluebeard! No wonder there was an attempt to rape.

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