January 25, 2008

Book Review: The Butterfly House

The Butterfly House, by Marica Preston, was another great find at our local used book store. I had never heard of it or the author, but the cover looked really interesting, as did the story.

From the back cover:

The Butterfly House tells the story of four women, drawn together--and parted--by fate. Roberta "Bobbie" Lee is in second grade when she meets beautiful, exotic Cincy Jaines at school. The two girls quickly discover they have something in common: they are both being raised by their mothers and have absent fathers. The young girls become immediate friends, nicknaming each other Sarsparilla and Rapunzel, and Bobbie finds herself spending most of her waking hours--and many of her sleeping ones--at Rockhaven, the home of Cincy and her mother Lenora, who is a lepidopterist and raises butterflies on her sunporch. Bobbie is quickly drawn into Lenora's exotic world, and she begins to love Lenora as if she were her own mother. Bobbie's real mother, Ruth, is a depressed alcoholic, a confused woman who mistakes Bobbie's relationship with Lenora as something lurid and taboo. As Cincy and Bobbie get older, their friendship gradually changes, culminating in a single night that will change the lives of all four women forever.

I loved this book. From the first chapter you are drawn into Bobbie's world. Once you start to read it, you don't want it to end. This book deals with it all: family love, loyalty, secrets, and self-discovery. When it does, you will say "WOW!" Very powerful novel.

If you love reading books about relationships between women and their mothers, then I highly recommend this book.

I do not, however, recommend her other book The Piano Man. I thought it was boring.


  1. I finally read this book. I thought it moved a little slow at the beginning, but overall enjoyed the story. Such a sad story.


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