Morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Amy Gail Hansen's debut, The Butterfly Sister.
Though it's been less than a year, Ruby Rousseau has put her days at Tarble college behind her. She left just short of graduation and has taken a job with a local paper. In short, she's worked hard to leave the past where she feels it belongs. All of that changes one afternoon with the delivery of a suitcase. The luggage doesn't belong to Ruby - she'd borrowed the bag the previous winter - but her luggage tag is still attached. Beth, the girl who owns the case, apparently lost it while traveling. But when Ruby tries to contact Beth to return the case, she finds that Beth has gone missing. Ruby feels a connection to Beth beyond simply having known her at school and does a bit of digging of her own and the clues she finds soon lead back to Tarble.
Yay for mystery/thrillers with literary leanings! I loved all of the Virginia Woolf and Charlotte Perkins Gilman and other literary references - and especially the way they tied into Ruby's story. This is a book I predict any bookish person will be unable to resist!
It turns out I had a bit of a predictable positive response to this book anyway due to the author's connection to New Orleans. Pieces of the book do take place there and, as a Louisiana girl, this always raises potential red flags. I've said before, though, that when an author does it right (as Amy Gail Hansen has done here), it makes me oh, so very happy!
Hansen's ability to build a wonderful setting isn't at all limited to New Orleans - though that does come across as lush and irresistible as it really is. Tarble and even Cassie's cabin all come to life in The Butterfly Sister. And while I've never attended a women's college, with this story Hansen definitely brought to mind my own college days and the ache of heartbreak, too.
I'm always leery of giving too much away in a review and I definitely want to avoid that here. The story plays out in a way that is a bit easy to see coming, but mostly due to my fondness for mysteries in general. I did so love the plot of this story, though, and especially the end (the very, very end... the epilogue). Let's just say that while I personally have no agenda, I'm not averse to sympathizing with a character who isn't all that good!
All in all, a truly enjoyable and wonderful debut!
To see more stops on the tour, check out the official TLC tour page here.
For more on Amy Gail Hansen and her work, you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.