Friday, December 6, 2013

The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen

In The Butterfly Sister, Ruby Rousseau is haunted by her college years. When a suitcase belonging to a former classmate, Beth, shows up on Ruby's doorstep, Ruby is taken aback. It turns out that Beth is missing and Ruby, despite many reservations, is drawn into the mystery and back to Tarble, her old college where the ghosts of her past await.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I absolutely adored the first half of the book and didn't want to put it down. However, halfway through the book something changed. It's almost like the author had a great idea for the beginning of the story, but didn't carry it through or didn't know how to end it. The second half was a major disappointment. One the bright side, if you can call it that, is that I didn't see those twists or ending coming.

I really liked Ruby. I admired her bravery in returning to a place that had so many bad memories for her. I'm not sure I would have done it. I was fascinated by her tendency (and frame of mind) to be drawn to books by women authors who committed suicide. I didn't realize that so many famous ones had taken their own lives. It's quite amazing actually.

I also loved Professor Barnard, at first. Her advice and guidance were awesome. I was so hoping that she'd become a ally of Ruby's and help her solve the mystery. There was one part that I didn't find at all believable. Apparently, Ruby and Professor Barnard had met before. The fact that Ruby didn't remember her didn't ring true. Even that little tidbit might be considered a spoiler to some, so I won't say more on the subject.

There were a few passages in the book that I made note of:
They say time heals all wounds. but I beg to differ. It seems time only deepens the scars.(page 96)
Anger isn't such a bad thing.... It moves obstacles. Nothing would happen without anger. It's a catalyst for change. (page 174)
There were a few more, but they didn't make sense out of context and I don't want to quote whole pages.

The cover is absolutely gorgeous and while I loved the title, I didn't quite understand the references to it in the book.

This edition of the book contains a section at the back that has information about the author and the book as well as a Q&A with the author and questions for a reading group. I always find these sections enlightening. It's definitely worth reading.

I'm not sure that I'd recommend this book. If the author writes another book, I might give it a try based solely on how much I enjoyed the first half of the book.

For more information about this book, please visit the HarperCollins website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at HarperCollins for this review copy.

The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen, William Morrow (HarperCollins), ©2013. ISBN 9780062234629(Trade paperback), 298p.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting, but I know what you mean about starting with a great idea, then seeming at a loss about how to continue the story. Love the cover.


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