Monday, January 27, 2014

The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen...

It was the cover that first caught my attention...and the words inside did not disappoint. This novel is a quiet unfolding of love and loss, of betrayal and madness, and a beautiful intertwining of Ruby Rousseau's present and past.

Ruby is a brilliant student of literature who dropped out of college one semester shy of graduation. The Butterfly Sister begins with a suitcase--a suitcase that belongs to a former college acquaintance of Ruby's, but that is delivered to Ruby's door instead. When she tries to return the suitcase, she discovers its owner, Beth, is missing. Beth's disappearance leads Ruby back to Tarble College--a place she hoped she had left behind forever. A place full of memories she'd rather forget. But the past is not easy to escape. In fact, for Ruby, it's getting closer every day. And this time she might not survive its truth.
"The past is a funny thing, Ruby. It is nature's most underestimated ghost. It is still very much alive. Its heart still beats. It haunts. And it is always impacting, always dictating the future..."
I liked the literary allusions to Virginia Woolf that are sprinkled throughout this novel, as well as the scenes set at Tarble College. Ruby is a very relatable heroine--not perfect by any means, but not stupid, or obtuse and passive, which I hate in a character. And Hansen's pacing, as each secret from the past is revealed, is just right. I also liked that I didn't see the end of this novel coming. It's nice to be surprised once in awhile. (And I didn't peek at the last page once!) I'm glad I picked this novel up; it was exactly the right read for me this week.


  1. This one sounds good. It is always nice to encounter a novel where the ending isn't predictable!

  2. I love when an author can really surprise me with an ending! And I love Virginia Woolf. It sounds like I should go try to track this one down!

    1. It was the literary allusions that made this book a cut above the ordinary. And I liked the characters, too.