Hello Readers! Today I have a treat for you! A Guest Review from the Wonderful Michelle.
She agreed to read Strands of Bronze and Gold for my Blog since I am an Ambuzzador for Random Buzzers (I am very lucky to have such an awesome friend).
Here is her Review:
Orphaned after the death of her father, Sophia's family is not in the financial position to continue to take care of their youngest sibling as best as possible. Thankfully, she has a doting godfather who is wealthy and has offered to become her legal guardian. And so Sophia is whisked away in a train and then carriage from Boston to the whimsical Wyndriven Abbey in Mississippi. Her uncle, Monsieur Bernard de Cressac is extravagantly wealthy, and his French mannerisms sometimes unnerve young Sophie. But perhaps there is more to it when she discovers that like her, all of his past wives had shades of red hair and they all seem to have met untimely deaths.
A more modern retelling of the fairytale of Bluebeard, Strands of Gold and Bronze was highly enjoyable. I had never read anything about the fairytale before so I had no idea what to expect. Now, having researched the fairytale, I'm amazed by how many of the various elements of versions of the fairytale the author was able to weave into her story. It makes me appreciate the text for its multi-layers and references. The French connection, the reaction of the village people, and even the presence of the folly, all make the story a rich retelling of a classic.
However, I particularly enjoyed the original element of the presence of slavery and the Underground Railroad. It created an interesting parallel between the slaves and Sophie's predicament. I had thought there would be a bit more about the slaves, but I think the amount was perfect. It prevented the story from becoming too one-dimensional.
I appreciate Sophie's naiveté and her initial excuses for her Uncle's behavior. But I was very grateful that she developed and changed, losing some of that initial ignorance and maturing as a character. I liked the Sophie at the end better than the Sophie at the beginning.
It was a wonderful story and one that I could imagine being the perfect read for a rainy autumn day, perhaps by a fire. As much as I enjoyed it, I don't think it's a story that quite earned that last star from me. I'm not sure I exactly understand why I feel that way, but I do believe it is a story that grows in esteem the longer it rests on your mind.
Want more of Michelle? Well you are in luck, she started her own blog recently, so head over and say hello. PlayingJokers is a blog of all things books not just reviews!
If you are interested here are some other fun things Strands related: