Tuesday, January 14, 2014

[Book Review] Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze and Gold

Strands of Bronze and Gold
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.

What was supposed to be an amazing and extravagant retelling of Bluebeard turned out to be a dull comparison even to a simple, average Fiction book.

When an author decides to do a retelling of any tale, there needs to be some sort of criteria that makes it exciting, breathtaking, and memorizing. The only thing that was exciting about this book was the ending (with about 5 pages of chasing and stabbing)..

Monsieur Bernard de Cressac (a.k.a. Bluebeard) was a creepy and pedophile-ish Frenchman who gave me the shivers so thumps up on that. I couldn’t find him charming at any point of the book but I’m not sure if it was the writing or the bad accent of narrator. Either way if this story would be intriguing, the reader should have been able to fall in love with him at least for a moment to break their hearts later. But that didn’t happen.

Jane Nickerson’s writing is elegant but dull and if this was more of a historian fiction – might have worked. But once the story takes turn to be a retelling – it captures different kind of audience and in this case the right material just wasn’t delivered right.