E.I.R. *SPECIAL EDITION*
STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD by Jane Nickerson
Genre: YA, fiction, retold-fairytale, historical-ish
Strands of Bronze and Gold is a retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale “Bluebeard,” set in Mississippi in 1855. Recently orphaned Sophia Pethram is sent to live at Wyndriven Abbey with her godfather, the rich and mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac. Confronted with his fluctuating moods, controlling personality, and mysterious past wives (all with hair as red as her own), Sophia tries to control her feelings for him as she begins to discover the truth about M. Bernard and his mysterious, terrible past. She hunts down his secrets, and his hold on her tightens. Eventually, something has to break.
First of all, I’d like to thank Randombuzzers (a.k.a. Random House) for giving me this opportunity and awesome ARC through their Ambuzzadors program. I apologize that it’s taken me so long to write my review.
So, when I first started Strands of Bronze and Gold, I wasn’t too impressed. I felt that the writing style wasn’t quite as polished or mature as it could have been, Sophie was bland and overly naïve, and M. Bernard’s actions were just completely over the top. There were also a few details/references that I felt were completely unnecessary: M. Bernard’s beard having a “bluish” cast to it, Sophia’s copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and maybe the constant going on and on and on about her red hair and M. Bernard’s admiration of it. To simplify, it was moving pretty slowly.
As I went on, I started to like it a bit more: the writing improved a lot (or maybe I just adjusted, I’m not sure), but M. Bernard’s flirting and overly controlling attitude and Sophia’s continued naivety still had me banging my head in frustration. I wanted to scream at her for being such an idiot for not seeing the signs that this was an abusive relationship.
Then of course, she finally figured out that something was up. That was when I actually started liking the story, because things were starting to finally move. From there on, things were pretty awesome: Sophia starts listening to her eyes and using her brains, M. Bernard’s nasty side has come out, etc. I was still yelling at Sophia for being an idiot, of course, but it was out of concern for her safety now (that’s always a sign of a good book). When everything finally ended, I was very pleased.
One of things I did like consistently throughout the book, though, was the setting; Jane Nickerson did a great job creating and maintaining the southern, pre-civil war atmosphere. She populated it with a wonderful variety of characters, and while there were one or two times where I questioned the authenticity of clothing choices, everything else was absolutely wonderful.
Overall, I thought it was a pretty decent book. It may have started out really slow, but it ended up being really great, and Jane Nickerson did a great job making me love and hate the characters.
opinions are welcome (especially on my reviewing abilities. Was i good and/or helpful? or just annoying?)