50 Book Pledge Featured Read: The Butterfly Girl

Happy Monday, Savvy Readers! Er, wait, I mean Tuesday… I think we’re still working off all that turkey we ate over the weekend. To start your (shortened!) week off on the right foot, we have a brand new 50 Book Pledge Featured Read for you!

Let’s kick things off with a bang: Margaret Atwood – yes, that Margaret Atwood – called this week’s 50 Book Pledge Featured Read a “heartbreaking, finger-gnawing, and yet ultimately hopeful novel.” What book could she possibly be talking about? Why, The Butterfly Girl – the newest novel from the magical mind of Rene Denfeld – of course! In Denfeld‘s previous (and equally outstanding) novel, The Child Finder, we were introduced to Naomi, the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children. This time around, Naomi is back, trading snow-covered woods for dark, gritty streets, where she’s on the hunt for her missing sister in a city where young, homeless girls have been going missing and turning up dead.

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Exactly one year ago, Naomi made a promise that she would not take another case until she was able to locate her younger sister who had been missing for years. Unfortunately for Naomi, however, she doesn’t have a whole lot to go off of. She has no picture, no name… All she has is the vague memory of a strawberry field at night, black dirt under her bare feet as she ran for her life. As the search continues and continues, she is soon drawn to Portland, Oregon, where scores of homeless children wander the streets searching for money, food, and companionship.

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Soon after arriving, Naomi discovers that young girls have been going missing for months, many later found in the dirty waters of the river. Unable to resist the pull of children in need, Naomi is drawn back into the world she had once vowed to leave after she sees the fear in the eyes of a 12-year-old girl named Celia. On the run from a rocky home life – an abusive stepfather and a mother in the grips of addiction – Celia uses the butterflies around her as guides and guardians on the dangerous streets. All around her, Celia sees tiny iridescent wisps of hope that shelter her from the dangers of the world she’s living by illuminating a cherished memory from her childhood – the Butterfly Museum, a place where she feels truly safe.

As danger creeps closer and closer to the pair, Naomi and Celia find echoes of themselves in one another, forcing them each to consider the question: Can you still be lost even when you’ve been found? But will they find the answer too late?

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If you loved The Child Finder and The Enchanted, then you HAVE to read The Butterfly Girl. And, if you haven’t read any of those books, you also HAVE to read The Butterfly Girl (and also all of those other books too. If you know anything about me, you know that I like to speak in hyperbole. But I promise you that I am not exaggerating here – Rene Denfeld‘s prose is magical, and her ability to craft a beautiful story in the depths of such hardship and difficulties is unrivaled. I swear that you will not have read a book like this one before and you certainly won’t be disappointed!

Happy reading,

Jesse

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