August 23, 2013

The Butterfly Sister Blog Tour: Review

The Butterfly Sister: A Novel
Author: Amy Gail Hansen
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks 


"My past was never more than one thought, one breath, one heartbeat away. And then, on that particular October evening, it literally arrived at my doorstep."

Eight months after dropping out of Tarble, an all-women's college, twenty-two-year-old Ruby Rousseau is still haunted by the memories of her senior year-a year marred by an affair with her English professor and a deep depression that not only caused her to question her own sanity but prompted a failed suicide attempt.

And then a mysterious paisley print suitcase arrives, bearing Ruby's name and address on the tag. When Ruby tries to return the luggage to its rightful owner, Beth Richards, her dorm mate at Tarble, she learns that Beth disappeared two days earlier, and the suitcase is the only tangible evidence as to her whereabouts.

Consumed by the mystery of the missing girl and the contents of the luggage-a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, the book on which Ruby based her senior thesis, and which she believes instigated her madness-she sets out to uncover the truth, not only about Beth Richards's past but also her own. In doing so, Ruby is forced to reexamine the people from her past: the professor who whisked her away to New Orleans and then shattered her heart and the ghosts of dead women writers who beckoned her to join their illustrious group. And when Ruby's storyline converges with Beth's in a way she never imagined, she returns to the one place she swore she never would: her alma mater.

The Butterfly Sister is a thrilling mystery that follows main character Ruth Rousseau as she is reluctantly drawn into the mystery of her former dorm mate and friend's disappearance. After a scandalous affair with a professor and the depression and attempted suicide that followed, Ruth doesn't want to think about her old school, Tarble, or her time spent there. All that changes one day when a strange suitcase arrives at her door with her name on it. Ruth realizes that the suitcase actually belongs to her old dorm mate from college, Beth Richards. When Ruth attempts to return the suitcase, she finds out that Beth disappeared two days earlier and the suitcase that Ruth has is the only evidence to be found. If Ruth is to discover what happened to Beth and to attempt to save her before it's too late, she must delve into her past - her time at Tarble, the people from her past, and the memories she's tried so hard to bury - and eventually realizes that the only place to find real answers is her old school itself.

This was a very well written and taut thriller that is an exceptional novel for a debut author. The characters were all very well done, especially Ruth. She has so many layers to her - she has tried to put her past and all of it's pain behind her, but it continues to affect her even all these years later. She proves to be a devoted friend and will do anything it takes to do what's right - even if that means revisiting all the pain and heartbreak that she's been hiding from for years. The plot was very fast paced with lots of great twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I love thrillers and mysteries - I always try to figure out what's really going on before the characters do, but I was truly at a loss with this one. The mystery had major revelations and connections that nobody saw coming - the characters or the reader - and I was completely engrossed until the last page. The writing was incredibly well done and I was astonished that it was the author's debut novel. It was very fast paced and all the layers of the mystery wove together to make a fascinating narrative. Overall, this was a captivating mystery thriller with tons of intriguing twists that will keep you guessing until the end. Highly recommended for fans of mystery and thrillers and those looking for a very well written novel with a fantastic mystery. 

A former English teacher, Amy Gail Hansen is a freelance writer and journalist living in suburban Chicago. This is her first novel.
Find out more about Amy at her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Follow the rest of the tour:

Tuesday, August 6th: Book Addict Katie
Wednesday, August 7th: A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, August 8th: Must Read Faster
Friday, August 9th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Monday, August 12th: The Blog of Lit Wits
Thursday, August 15th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, August 21st: Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, August 23rd: A Dream Within a Dream
Monday, August 26th: Lectus
Thursday, August 29th: Bluestalking
Friday, August 30th: BoundbyWords
Monday, September 9th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, September 12th: Wordsmithonia
TBD: Ageless Pages Reviews


  1. I'm happy to see that this is such an amazing debut! Thanks for the great review for the tour. I'm featuring it on TLC's Facebook page today.

  2. I am a mystery lover...definitely looking forward to reading this book.

    THANKS for your review.

    Silver's Reviews
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