Good Evening Everyone,
Hope you’re all keeping well. What a cracking few days we’ve had in the UK. It’s all due to be over soon but I hope that you all have made the most of the sunshine and spent lots of time outdoors enjoying yourselves. I certainly have and I will be gutted to see the return of rain.
Thank you to @sarahhardy681 for organising this magnificent blog tour and also to @bookouture and @MSophieanderson for the ARC in return for an honest review. The Butterfly Garden is due to be published on 21st June 2021 and you can get a copy here.
Erin moves from London back home to her parents house in Cornwall after a failed relationship and she feels as though she’s hit rock bottom. In search of a job, she spots an advertisement for a job at Hookes End, a huge house on the edge of the cliffs. The owner; Maggie is looking for someone to help her write her final manuscript before she dies.
Maggie has lived alone for many years and she harbours secrets that she’s never shared with anyone. Her son lives on the other side of the world in Costa Rica and there are things she really wants to say to him before her time is up. Can Erin help Maggie find the forgiveness she seeks before it’s too late?
General Thoughts 🤔
This book was so beautiful. It was heart wrenching for sure but there were so many moments that made me feel all warm and tingly inside. Maggie was quite abrasive towards Erin in the beginning but as the story progressed it put such a smile on my face to see her barriers fall.
It’s true that every family has it’s secrets but I think Erin and Maggie bonded over the magnitude of their family secrets. They weren’t just little fibs told to protect other people, they were pretty big whoppers. Both families had guarded secrets for many years and I can see how it could be so easily done. Once it’s past a certain point it must be harder to tell the truth and therefore easier to just lock away. I loved that this story brought together two people who ordinarily would never make a pair but under the surface, they had so much in common and so much to learn from one another.
Despite her harsh edges and somewhat dark past, I couldn’t help but warm to Maggie. After spending so many years on her own, I don’t doubt that it was hard for her letting people back into her life. The weight of her secrets and regrets had to have worn her down over the years and I sympathised with her plight to try and make things right in her final time of life.
Little bit of an under the radar character, but I really liked Erin’s Dad. He came across as the sweetest and most caring man. Erin’s parents had been holding a secret of their own from Erin, but when it finally came out, I thought that her Dad handled the situation really well. He was conscious of Erin’s feelings by wanting her to know the truth but also protective of Erin’s Mother’s feelings by not rushing her to be forthcoming with details.
Writing Style ✍️
The story follows two different timelines; the present and the past. The past is told via excerpts from Maggie’s manuscript which I really enjoyed. Those smaller sections opened my eyes to the reasons behind Maggie’s later behaviours.
Sophie Anderson certainly knows how to pull on the heart strings and I thought that the characters that she wrote and the way in which she made me feel like I was close to them was fantastic. On top of that I loved her destination descriptions. The way in which she weaved small details about Cornwall and Costa Rica into the story made the locations jump right off the page.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️
I feel like this book came at the perfect time for me. I didn’t know I needed something a little slower paced that would make me really concentrate on the characters and their feelings; but I obviously did. A story of deceit and long-held secrets told alongside beautiful relationships and lessons about letting go. Such a great book!