Release Date: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers
Add it: Goodreads
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.
I was already familiar with the Bluebeard story by Charles Perrault (which, in case you’re worried about clicking the link, is actually a Public Domain story because it’s old as the hills) so I was quite excited to read this adaptation because I’d enjoyed the original so much. ALAS. Strands of Bronze and Gold, in some ways, follows the original quite closely and in other ways it deviates inexplicably into the realm of nonsensical and more than that, pretty bloody offensive. Bluebeard, a nickname (just go with it) in this novel given to the Monsieur de Cressac, remains a mysteriously rich bachelor with a penchant for pretty wives but not so much for the old ball and chain. Sophia, like her original counterpart, is curious, naive and beautiful who is initially fascinated by de Cressac.