Of Moths & Butterflies

By V.R. Christensen

Set in the late nineteenth century, this novel has a female protagonist trying to escape her past and monetary fortune, a very curious man, some over-friendly cousins, and a few greedy folk for good measure. An arranged marriage appears to ease our protagonist’s troubles, but instead new problems arise everywhere.

I particularly liked how dialog heavy Christensen was in this novel. Christensen’s dialog felt natural, restrained, characterized excellently, and smoothly flickers between intense and amusing. Though the novel was almost six hundred and fifty pages, it still felt like a light read from the interesting drama and dialog. In these pages there’s a slow build up and shaping of the plot, and characters’ interactions with one another.

However, I would have liked to see the protagonist humanized a little earlier, her light flaws become apparent rather late into the novel. Almost every other character loves her or hates her right upon meeting her, only towards the ending do we see other characters moving away from the extremes of feelings for her.

As a warning, there are references to past sexual abuse.

Nibble: “Her conflicting and tumultuous emotions betrayed themselves only in her occupation of busily fingering the fringe of her paisley shawl.”

After reading the book, I found the author’s blog post about it rather interesting and made me rethink themes of the book placed in contemporary times. Most interestingly, what happens if one goes into a marriage with absolutely no expectations? The blog post is here, http://vrchristensen.com/http:/vrchristensen.com/why-of-moths-butterflies/ .

I would heavily recommend this book to anyone looking for a dramatic romance, and furthermore I think this book would be lovely for fostering conversation at a bookclub meeting.

My Rating: 8 out of 10 red glass apples

I received a free electronic copy of this book from the author via LibraryThing.

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