The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley
|The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A feel-good story based in Cornwall and Suffolk. The perfect treat for when you wnat to indulge yourself. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 640||Date: May 2019|
|External links: Author's website|
Paradise. That's what it seemed like to nine-year-old Posy Anderson. Her father delighted in indulging her and playing with her. Together they caught butterflies and examined them before her father took them off to let them go free. Her mother was rather distant, but her father more than made up for that. The only blot on the horizon was that her father was a spitfire pilot, recovering from an injury, and it seemed likely that he would have to go back to the war. Everyone thought that it was drawing to a close, but men still had to go and fight - and risk their lives. Posy was staying with her grandmother in Cornwall when the news came through that her father had been killed in action. Her mother had travelled from Suffolk to tell her what was going to happen to her.
Posy was to stay with her grandmother in Cornwall. She would attend the local school along with the other children from the village and this she did until it became obvious that Posy was more advanced and needed more specialist teaching. Boarding school answered Posy's needs until she went to university to study Botany.
Fast forward into the early part of the twenty-first century when we meet Posy again. She's Posy Montague now and she lives alone in Admiral House, her childhood home. It wasn't always this way. Posy's been a widow for thirty years and her late husband never met his younger son, Nick, who was born after Jonny was killed in a tragic accident. Nick's older brother, Sam, still lives in Southwold, if you can call the hand-to-mouth existence he and his wife endure as living. Nick, on the other hand, has spent the last ten years in Australia, where he's been a successful antiques dealer. The brothers have never got on, but Nick's now thinking about returning to London.
Posy might be nearly seventy, but she still has vitality and she's shocked when she encounters the man who was the passion of her life - Freddie Lennox. The Butterfly Room is the story of how Posy and those around her, got from playing in the garden in the nineteen forties to the garden which Posy has spent more than a quarter of a century building at Admiral House.
It was going to last me at least a week. I'd made up my mind: I had work to do. Over the first few chapters it seemed as though it would work out, because I had it all worked out in my own mind. I knew exactly what had happened and what would happen: it was all so obvious. Only, it wasn't and doubts began to creep in. Of course I had to keep reading just until the plot got back to where I expected it to be - only it didn't, so the book that was going to last me at least a week, was finished in two days. All the clues were there, but I didn't spot them. Next time I read it will be to see how it was done.
So, the plot's a cracker, with a very satisfying ending. The characters are good too. I took a little while to keep track of who was who as there's quite a cast list, but it wasn't long before they all developed their own voices. Even relatively minor characters came off the page well. A couple of days after I've finished reading the book some of the characters are wandering about my mind. I want to know what happens to them next.
The locations, Southwold and Cornwall, are an author's dream and Lucinda Riley does them justice. We see behind the tourist facade and get a feel for the real places and the struggle that the local people have to live there. I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag: it was a good read and I'm looking forward to Riley's next book.
The form of the story and the way that it began slowly, grabbed my attention and simply wouldn't let go reminded me of The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. If you're looking for something else to read, you might also enjoy House of Glass by Susan Fletcher.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley at Amazon.com.
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