New this week: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson is one I've been anticipating for a while, years actually, since Heather Tomlinson emailed me the announcement that it had been bought.
It's Bluebeard. It's Gothic Antebellum South. Fascinating! I haven't read it yet--don't own it yet!--but I am intrigued. I can imagine a university course in which this one and Eudora Welty's Robber Bridegroom are studied. And I have so many favorite Bluebeards, I could fill a semester with Bluebeard: A Reader's Guide to the English Tradition, Secrets beyond the Door: The Story of Bluebeard and His Wives and yes, Bluebeard Tales From Around the World (Surlalune Fairy Tale Series) as the texts. Then there would be Bloody Chamber, Vonnegut, and Maeterlinck because that play fascinates me as a Bluebeard inspired piece. Oh, yes, I could easily spend a semester on this fascinating tale cycle.
But back to the latest Bluebeard offering for us.
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.