Butterfly Island

Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (202 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the bestselling author of The Moonlit Garden comes the sweeping, romantic tale of one woman's quest across two continents and one hundred years of history to unearth her family's deepest secret.

Diana Wagenbach is the sole survivor in a withering family tree fraught with secrets. When the first in a trail of clues is handed down to Diana by her great-aunt on her deathbed, along with a plea to assuage their family's guilt by revealing all, Diana obliges. She follows the clues - a picture here, a letter there, a pressed frangipani flower in a book - that carry her away from her philandering husband in Berlin to a charming manor in England and all the way to a tea plantation in Sri Lanka.

Diana unravels the dramatic tale of her great-great-grandmother, Grace Tremayne, with the aid of Jonathan Singh, a local historian and writer - and someone with whom she feels a deep bond that sparks into romance. As Grace's tragic past in exotic colonial Ceylon is revealed and the family's sins come to light, Diana finds inspiration in her ancestor's courage and begins to rethink what happiness - and love - is worth, and how the surest route to peace is in setting the truth free.

©2012 Corina Bomann & Ullstein Buchverlag GmbH. (P)2017 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Translation © 2017 Alison Layland.

What listeners say about Butterfly Island

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Loved this book!!!

This was a gem of a book that came up under romance, of which there was certainly plenty of, but it was also a genealogical mystery and a sweeping backward looking family saga as well. Beautifully written with sights and sounds and smells described as the dialogue and characters thoughts moved the story along such that the balance was automatic. I hope to read more books by this author!!!

6 people found this helpful

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Love Family History Stories!

Mystery, History, and Romance all in one! I very much enjoyed this story. The narrator did an excellent job!

3 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story

I really enjoyed the story and the details, but always find it hard to hear the hardships and terrible treatment of the natives, and the women and girls in the past. How strong they all had to be to endure the degrading circumstances they were expected to accept.

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Loved this book!!!

I was captivated from the first chapter. And I loved the reader's voice. I will be taking other books by this author.

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new discovery

Finished in 2 days! interesting story line and enjoyable narrarion. Looking forward to listening to this authors next book.

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Wonderful story

Great history mixed with a wonderful story...it a very nice read. I am looking for the next one she wrote

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Fly Away from this Book!

Though the idea of a secret make the opening if the book enticing, it declines soon after chapter three and never recovers. I only continued because it was a book club reading, but I just wanted it to be over. At last it was. I will be returning this book to audible because they are awesome and allow me to rerun a book simply because I didn't like it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fibro Mum
  • 07-16-17

Beautifully Translated

But why does a book initially written in German and wonderfully translated into English by a Brit, and set in England Germany and India, have to be read by an American with an emotionless voice? It is the main thing that puts me off buying audio books and has reconfirmed for me why I don't often.
I am reading this as well as listening to it and I can't describe my disappointment when I began listening. It's a great shame to spend money on something you're expecting to enjoy only to find it monotonous to listen to. In my own head whilst reading I am hearing Diana's voice as well spoken with a mild-German accent. To hear it narrated so harshly was a shock and the reason why I very rarely buy audio books. I am probably not going to continue listening to this rather just read it for myself.