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Review: "Butterfly Sisters" by Jenny Hale is Creating Quite a "Flutter!"

Butterfly Sisters Plot Summary

Leigh Hendersen doesn't realize how much her identity is wrapped up in her career until she unexpectedly loses her job to someone who is even better at commercial property management consulting than she is.

Reeling from the blow, Leigh answers her mother's summons to join her and her estranged sister, Meredith, at the family cabin at Old Hickory Lake.  Having spent each summer and most holidays at the lake with her Nan, Leigh's best childhood memories are tied to the cabin; however, with her Nan now gone, Leigh has avoided the cabin for eight years, unable to face the painful loss.

Butterfly Sisters by Jenny Hale

Leigh and Meredith couldn't be more different.  Leigh is educated, grounded, successful, and family-oriented.  Meredith is a free spirit who is too restless to stay anywhere for long.  No one knows what Meredith even does for a living because she is distant, having walled her family out long ago.

Leigh's mother shares shocking news with her daughters concerning Nan's final wishes.  Will the revelation tear their small family apart, or will it force them to resolve their differences as Nan had hoped? 

Growing up, Colton Harris lived by the lake, and he spent most of his time with Leigh and Meredith during their visits.  He was devastated when Leigh moved away to college to pursue her dreams because he'd had other plans for the two of them.  Colton never shared Leigh's drive and had no choice but to let her go.

Colton still lives by the lake, and now that Leigh is back, will they pick up where they left off, or has too much changed?

It's complicated.

The Butterfly Metaphor

You might be wondering how butterflies fit into the story.  How can two people be butterfly sisters?

Nan was a gifted painter, who, in addition to landscaped canvases, often studied butterflies and drew and wrote about them in her journal.

While embroiled in family turmoil, Leigh, Meredith, and Mama all have close encounters with beautiful butterflies, which give them peace, feeling as if Nan is watching and guiding them.

Butterfly Sisters by Jenny Hale

More significant is the science behind metamorphosis.  When a butterfly emerges from its cocoon, no one can help it to make the process easier without killing it.  It's a struggle to break free, and it's in this struggle that fluid is pushed into the butterfly's wings, enabling it to fly. 

Similarly, Leigh and Meredith not only struggle to find the right paths for their lives, but the real metamorphosis involves coming to terms with their pasts and discovering if it's possible to forge a better relationship going forward--or not.  

Butterflies are harbingers of Spring, and since the novel's setting is springtime by the lake, they serve as a beautiful thread from the beginning to the end of the novel.

Masterful Characterization in Butterfly Sisters

Jenny Hale masterfully develops unique characters who evolve, even though they remain true to their personalities throughout the journey.  

As a reader, your own personality will decide which character you relate to the most, though you will certainly empathize with each perspective.

There's a lesson to be learned here:  it's easy to judge others who think and act differently than we do. No one views life through the same lens, but healthy human connection depends on us allowing others to be who they are instead of conforming to our own ideals.

Butterfly Sisters Celebrates Blue Collar America

There is something very Mike Rowe about this book.  Rowe is best known for his show Dirty Jobs, and he's a huge advocate for promoting the idea that people can develop skills for lucrative careers without a college education.

Colton and Meredith never attend college, yet both are wildly successful in their chosen occupations.  This is a lovely shout-out to blue collar workers.  Everyone has a talent, dream, or desire that can become a reality with hard work, grit, and determination.

A Novel About Resolving Family Differences

All families have their share of drama, to varying degrees.  No family is perfect.  Large doses of patience, understanding, and a willingness to listen are keys to overcoming conflict.  Everyone deserves a second chance.

Butterfly Sisters reminds us that life is short, and once we reach the end of our days, we don't want to regret wasting time and energy on disputes that don't ultimately matter.  What does matter?  Relationships.  Love.  Family.

If you find yourself reading this book and noticing parallels to the dysfunction in your own family, be like the butterfly who doesn't avoid the struggle, but who embraces all that it requires to transform into something beautiful that can find wings to soar.

Get Your Copy of Butterfly Sisters!

Butterfly Sisters will have you longing to cozy up in a cabin by the lake to savor and reflect on life, far away from the daily grind.  

For a celebration of love and family, snag your copy of Butterfly Sisters today--another Jenny Hale masterpiece that is moving quickly up the charts!

You can watch an interview where Hale discusses her new book and reveals her upcoming Summer and Christmas 2022 releases here.

Author Jenny Hale

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