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Monday, September 9, 2013

The Butterfly Sister: A Novel by Amy Gail Hansen

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

The past just arrived on Ruby’s doorstep . . .

To uncover the truth about a friend’s disappearance, a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past in this moving debut tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature.

“My past was never more than one thought, one breath, one heartbeat away. And then, on that particular October evening, it literally arrived at my doorstep.”

Twenty-two-year-old Ruby Rousseau is haunted by memories of Tarble, the women’s college she fled from ten months earlier, and the painful love affair that pushed her to the brink of tragedy.

When a suitcase belonging to a former classmate named Beth arrives on her doorstep, Ruby is plunged into a dark mystery. Beth has gone missing, and the suitcase is the only tangible evidence of her whereabouts.

Inside the bag, Ruby discovers a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, the book she believes was a harbinger of her madness. Is someone trying to send her a message—and what does it mean?

The search for answers leads to Tarble. As Ruby digs into Beth’s past, she has no choice but to confront her own—an odyssey that will force her to reexamine her final days at school, including the married professor who broke her heart and the ghosts of illustrious writers, dead by their own hand, who beckoned her to join their tragic circle.

But will finding the truth finally set Ruby free . . . or send her over the edge of sanity?

my thoughts:

Captivating thriller with a dash of mystery and a dollop of romance - doesn't that just sound terrific?  Well, it is!

Reasons I enjoyed/loved this novel:

1.  The writing was fantastic - I was spellbound from the beginning and could not put this fast-paced read down for ANYTHING!  Nope, I devoured this book in one sitting and loved every minute of it.

2.  Literary references!! I'm an English major (BA, MA, M.Res) and that means I love books where the protagonist is also an English major, because that usually means LITERARY REFERENCES!!  Sylvia Plath, Virgina Woolf, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman equals some of my FAVORITE authors - so, of course I was more than happy to learn that Ruby's (protagonist) academic focus was on female authors who struggled with mental illness (depression/suicide).  Talk about having flashbacks to my own graduate studies!

3.  Romance with a professor - tsk, tsk, tsk.  Of course, who didn't have a crush on one of their professors at some point in college, right?  I definitely did - one in particular springs to mind.  He was brilliant and I crushed hard. However, in Ruby's case, her romance with the prof plays out and winds up causing a lot more damage to her psyche. 

4.  Mystery/thriller - a suitcase on a doorstep belonging to someone else leads to a mystery and some rather thrilling moments.  Ruby borrowed the luggage from a woman named Beth and it somehow lands at her doorstep instead of Beth's.  Inside the suitcase is an old book containing scribbles that cause Ruby to suspect that her professor knew Beth in a very intimate manner.  And a phone call to Beth's home winds up with Ruby returning to Tarble (the school she had to leave behind) and uncovering more truths than she had asked for.

5.  Ruby.  She was a character that I just couldn't help but befriend.  She was smart, depressive, suicidal, and a bit mad - similar to the female authors she was obsessed with. I just loved her.

Now, I know that I didn't provide you with loads of information about the book, but I didn't want to - because you have to read it for yourself!  Plus, I figured if I mentioned the following words that your interest would be piqued: English major, literary references, Plath, Woolf, Gilman, thriller, romance, madness.  Am I right?  You are interested, aren't you? How could you not be?  Well, just know that once you pick this book up, you will not be able to put it down - it is that good and that engrossing.  So, pick up a copy and enjoy!

Here's a link to the schedule for this book tour: The Butterfly Sister
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

And, another one bites the dust! Yep, this is my third read for R.I.P. VIII - woo hoo! This means I have one more book to go and then I will have completed Peril the First.  Of course, I still have creepy movies to watch to complete Peril the Screen.  Plus, its not even October yet, which means that I will definitely be reading more mystery, thriller, spooky reads.  For now, I'm off to finish Mike Greenberg's, All You Could Ask For

7 comments:

Ti said...

The mention of the Woolf book piques my interest. I love it when am author manages to work a classic into the story.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Ti, me too! That is the main reason I loved this book ;)

Col (Col Reads) said...

This sounds fantastic. I always have a hard time figuring out where the thriller ends and the mystery begins, but I know I like some of both in many of my favorite books. Thanks for putting this on my radar!

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Col, me too! I love a mix of mystery and a dash of romance and a splash of thriller all rolled into one :) Enjoy this book!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Oooh, I can't wait to read this one ... so many things that I love!

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Heather, you will love it! Thanks for having me on the tour and thanks for putting my review on FB :)

samantha.1020 said...

You sure made me want to give this one a try!! It sounds like a great read and I've already added it to my TBR list. Thanks :)