BUTTERFLY SUMMER by Anne-Marie Conway
GO TO THE END OF THE REVIEW FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN A SIGNED COPY!
Becky thought her summer would be dull when her Mum uprooted them to the quiet town of Oakbridge. But then she finds a photo that changes everything she thought she knew. Trying to deal with knowledge that her Mum is lying to her, Becky seeks refuge in the Butterfly Garden and her new friend Rosa May. Then Rosa May’s odd ways start Becky wondering if everyone is keeping secrets…
This is a book that you finish and want to read all over again. Perhaps because the first time the mystery has you tearing through the pages to reach the moment when all is revealed. Reading a second time you can enjoy the details, notice the clues and simply dwell for a while in the world of the story. A bit like sitting in the Butterfly Garden.
Becky is 12 – the age when a more comfortable world is fading and growing up is new and scary and happening whether you like it or not. I thought Anne-Marie captured this moment perfectly in Becky. She wants to escape her problems by lying in the Butterfly Garden with Rosa May, searching for the mysterious Silver-studded Blue butterfly, but is pulled back to reality by her Mum’s fragile mental state and having to play the role of parent. And her friendship with Rosa May isn’t without its complications. Rosa May is wild and unpredictable, making their friendship exciting but punctuated by angry, jealous outbursts. She seemed gripped with a fear that Becky will abandon her for someone else – perhaps Mack, the boy who has been showing Becky around the village.
The characters draw you into the story, while the mystery is the book’s driving force. Anne-Marie Conway deftly keeps you away from the truth, dropping hints that have you wondering but don’t reveal too much. The relationships between the characters are so real and interesting that the parts of the book where you get to know them are just as compelling as the unravelling of the secret. Rosa May and Becky’s friendship is intense and exciting, while Becky gets to know Mack in a quieter, but heart-warming way. Becky and her mum have the most complicated and emotionally fraught relationship – for years it has just been the two of them, but now Becky is asking questions about the past and her mum can’t cope.
I now have a lovely signed copy of the book to give away. If you would like to put a few butterflies in your summer then just pop a comment at the bottom or send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.