I wanted to start this post differently because this book really inspire me to write as well. The words below are words from my imagination, though it fits the situation and emotion in the book.
The old Jane Eyre book set. It was the only valuable possession I had left. “What if I lose you?” Were the last words. Mama was gone, way past me. I was in China, and she in Montana. Hope sparked from her uneven stack of letters, increasing day by day. I was to go to America, too.
This book is called, ‘RED BUTTERFLY’, written by A.L Sonnichsen. Surprisingly, this is her first and only book written. I say surprisingly because this book is such a lovely, heartfelt and emotional book. It is, actually, one of the only books that has made me cry. I remember when I first picked out this book: I read the blurb and knew it was a tragic story. But, I had no idea that it would make me cry two or three times during the reading experience. It seemed like a book that demanded to be read and given proper respect and recognition to, as it’s strong title would suggest. I already had that feeling in mind when I first flipped through the book. How marvellous!
Red Butterfly is about a very troubled, adopted girl named Kara. A Chinese Visa, a hidden child and a concealed life gone wrong is what this book is about. As an infant, Kara was abandoned then taken in by a kind lady. However, Mama didn’t adopt Kara immediately as she was hiding. Hiding from the authorities. But, the concealed truth couldn’t hide for long. Soon, when Mama’s real daughter comes to visit China and falls severely ill, the authorities discover their secret and send Mama back to Montana. Solitary Kara is stuck in the middle of all this, and is then taken care of by the police and nurses. Though Mama fights to get Kara back, another family (the Gurnsey family) adopts her. They are considerate, and were ready to lose Kara to Mama, but won instead. Kara, her heart shattered, struggles to adapt to her new life. Will she adapt? Or will her hope, belief and liveliness deplete?
I love this book for all its deep emotion and detailed descriptions of the character’s situation. This whole masterpiece was written in a lyrical verse and I was overcome with emotion and understanding. I found this intriguing as until then I had the notion that poems being short and brief, don’t always have the same effect as prose does! Instead, this is so powerful, bringing to life as a melody, how an innocent, perplexed girl is stuck in the middle of extreme crisis, unable to reach the only family she has ever known. Showing how much emotion and feelings an orphan goes through. I say that A.L Sonnichsen’s unique, but lyrical style of writing is extremely touching and a total triumph!
I love the title of this book and still ponder on it: ‘Red Butterfly’. At times when she is riding her bicycle, Kara says she feels and looks like a red butterfly, especially when she goes to her old house for the last time. However, the bicycle doesn’t have much significance in this book. I actually think that it’s called, ‘Red Butterfly’, because red is the colour representing China and butterflies are beautiful yet fragile creatures. They fly very swiftly from place to place and sometimes fly great great distances from where they were born, as Kara did. At times, she mentioned that her mother seemed as weak as a butterfly, but I think the title mostly refers to her.
Overall, this book is a truly woven miracle of literacy, having it’s own wondrous way of weaving in the plot and emotions back and forth. A.L Sonnichsen is a remarkable writer. This book isn’t inappropriate in any way, and the verses are light but the purpot and emotion may be a bit mature for slightly younger readers. So, I’d say this book would be for around ages 10-13 year olds.
You can buy it here on Amazon for $4.64!