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Publisher's Summary

To keep a devastating family secret from being revealed, a young mother's desperate lies could end up destroying everything, and everyone, she loves. The Memory of Butterflies is a poignant story of family and forgiveness - of knowing when to let go and when to hold each other close.

Hannah Cooper's daughter is leaving for college soon. The change is bittersweet. A single mother since the age of eighteen, Hannah isn't eager to confront the pain of being alone, but she's determined not to let her own hang-ups keep Ellen from the future she deserves. As Ellen's high school graduation approaches, Hannah decides it's time to return to her roots in Cooper's Hollow along Virginia's beautiful and rustic Cub Creek.

With the help of longtime friend Roger Westray, Hannah devotes her energies to building a new house on the site of the old family home, destroyed in a fire more than a decade ago. But Hannah's entire adult life has revolved around one very big secret. And her new beginning comes with unanticipated risks that will cost her far more than she could have imagined - perhaps more than she can survive.

When a confrontation forces Hannah to expose her secret, the truth may destroy her beloved daughter. Hannah is prepared to sacrifice everything to protect her family, but can their lives and their bond withstand the seismic shift that's coming?

©2017 Grace Greene (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Gets progressively more implausible

No spoilers: At first I was willing to go with the implausibility of what happened because the story was interesting and the author did do good job of convincing me that given the circumstances, Hannah could have made the choice she did. But then the story switches to “present day” when Ellen is now getting ready to graduate from high school. It was downhill from there as things got more and more ridiculous.

The breaking point was Hannah’s confession. If I had been reading in print instead of listening, I suspect I would have read about 5% of that scene—the dialogue. What’s in between the dialogue are long and drawn out (and tedious) descriptions of Hannah’s feelings. The narrative drive is completely lost when after every piece of dialogue, there’s no answer to a question or further explanation but instead a huge chunk of description about Hannah and her mental or physical state.

And it kind of continued that way for the rest of the book—mostly just stuck in Hannah’s head with her questions, guilt, and all her other feelings. I just wanted to get to the end of the book and see how it wrapped up.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DD
  • 12-13-17

Loved this book and narrator!!!

Wow it has been a long time since I've read any story so moving and well written. I want to cry for all Hannah went thru in her life but how real and resilient she was. This book reminds me of books by Catherine Ryan Hyde...thank you Grace Greene!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Couldn't finish

What disappointed you about The Memory of Butterflies?

I guess I have no patience for people that lie to their children. The first part is beautifully written, and the characters are real and complex. I really wanted to like this book but I can't get past the fact that it all revolves around her lying to her daughter about who she is.

Has The Memory of Butterflies turned you off from other books in this genre?

I like stories about people's lives, but I found myself just not liking this woman.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I don't know if it was the narration or the writing but the dreamlike almost monotone quality made it really easy to loose the thread of the story - I had to keep backing up and listening again.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I really liked the beginning, I thought it was going to be a favorite. Until all the lies. Maybe I'll have to read the rest of it instead of listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

An amazing book. Love the family aspect ,the author is a new favorite;the audible. Fantastic. I would give it a ten if I could. So very well written !!!!!!!!!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story!

I loved the journey into these women's lives! thoroughly enjoyed this story! I felt like I almost lived it with the great performance.

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Nine Hour Description of Grief

I am proud of myself for finishing this tedious experience. The characters are judgmental, boring and hard. I couldn't relate to any of them and got tired of hearing the main character's constant description of her loss, grief and guilt. Hannah was meant to seem strong, but I constantly scoffed at her behavior. I am relieved to be finished.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Butterflies have a short, but beautiful life

What a marvelous story of love, loss, lies and consequences. The descriptions are unparalleled in their lushness. The characters are fully developed and as believable as a relative. Would the story have been as poignant if the webs of conceit weren’t woven so tightly? And, a good ending. Good writing, a great story. What more could you want?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best narrations

Well written. The narrator did an excellent job reciting this book. I could picture the scenery.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Multi generational entertainment

We selected this book for a road trip. Riding in the car were my parents (in their 70’s), myself (50), and my daughter (23). Initially my daughter was listening to music and podcasts on her phone but would catch parts of the story here and there. As the book progressed we were all hooked. I would have given it a 5 but it did get a bit tiresome at one point. But really good to find something that appealed to such a broad age range

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I recommend The Memory of Butterflies audiobook due to the performance of the reader as well as the intriguing story. Hannah tells her story with such patience and surprises that I felt compelled to continue learning about her as she revealed long-held secrets.

What other book might you compare The Memory of Butterflies to and why?

I found this book reminded me of the slow unwrapping secrets in Diane Chamberlain's Pretending to Dance. They both showed the damage family secrets can cause for the next generation.

What does Brittany Pressley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I love audiobooks and marvel at the performers who can change tone and voice to individualize the characters. This was true in The Memory of Butterflies where the complexities of the story were enhanced by listening.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Hannah struggled with Ellen being her daughter, but not really. It was painful to see her questioning and maybe fear as she decided whether to tell Ellen the truth knowing it could cost her Ellen's love.

Any additional comments?

I got so involved in this story that I had to keep listening. It was one of those books that I hated to have end because I wanted to know more about what the next step was for Hannah.

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  • moniek
  • 12-18-17

One of the best reads in a while

What a moving story made even better by how well written it is. This is my first book by this author and I will be reading more of her books