Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Strands of Bronze and Gold

When Sophia's father dies, she and her older siblings are left in difficult financial circumstances.  It seems like a stroke of good luck when she receives an invitation from her mysterious and wealthy godfather.  Not only does he want to support Sophia, but he might be able to help her brothers and sister, as well.

Sophia leaves Boston for Wyndriven Abbey in Mississippi, and in 1855 the two are worlds apart.  Monsieur de Cressac plies Sophia with beautiful clothes, fine food, and the wonders of his home and estate.  He is charming and attentive, and Sophia is quick to overlook the problems in her new life.

Sophia has always been opposed to slavery, but she has never really been confronted with the practice before.  She is unsettled by M. de Cressac's reliance on slavery, but he waves her objections away.  When she headed for her new life Sophia believed she would live with de Cressac and his wife, but once she arrives, she discovers his wife is dead, and she silently questions the propriety of living with an unmarried man.

At first M. de Cressac's charm sweeps away her objections, but the longer she lives at Wyndriven Abbey, the more she discovers about her godfather, his disturbing past, and his volatile temper.

Jane Nickerson's Southern Gothic version of the Bluebeard fairy tale is lush, dark, beautiful, and dangerous.

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