Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Blog Tour Review: The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill
(American) Date: July 26, 2011
Acquired: from Free Press Blog Tours
Read: for review (I received this book in return for a fair and honest review; how I acquired it did not impact the outcome of my review)
Reading time: two days
Based on the true story of an aristocratic Irish mother found guilty of killing her own child, The Butterfly Cabinet tells the dual stories of Harriet Ormond and Maddie McGlade. Harriet, mother of nine, is a harsh disciplinarian whose methods of rearing children often bring censure from others. Maddie is a young servant in the Ormond household. The women's lives become intertwined when Charlotte, Harriet's only daughter, dies. Harriet is convicted of killing her and is sent to prison; her story is told through the diary she kept during her incarceration. Maddie, over seventy years after Charlotte's death, tells her side of the story to Harriet's granddaughter Anna, and the secrets that have been kept for decades begin to be unraveled.
Within the first few pages, I was hooked on The Butterfly Cabinet. McGill's writing is excellent, and though the narration (especially that of Maddie) tends to ramble, the book always remains interesting. Readers know most of what happened in the Ormond household from the outset, but there are a few surprises yet to come. Because readers already know most of the story, it is the fact that the basis of the book in and of itself is fascinating coupled with McGill's eloquent writing that keeps readers engaged in the book.With lesser authors this novel would have been boring, but McGill writes well enough to hold interest.
Sorry for the short review, but that's really all I have to say.