The Butterfly Sister

Written By: ELISA .M.


TITLE:  The Butterfly Sister

AUTHOR:  Amy Gail Hansen

GENRE: Adult Fiction | Mystery | Contemporary

RATING: 3.5/5

SETTING(S) :  Present day, Midwest & New Orleans, USA

SUBJECT: Love  | Adultery | Kidnapping | Friendship | College Life | Mystery

MAIN CHARACTERS:  Ruby Rousseau, Heide Callahan, Mark Suter, Professor Virginia Barnard, Beth Richards and Detective Steven Pickens

SUMMARY:  Amy Gail Hansen’s debut novel is about a young women conflicted about her past.  It takes place 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. Then a mysterious suitcase arrives, bearing Ruby’s name and address on the tag. When Ruby tries to return the luggage to its rightful owner, Beth Richards, she learns that Beth disappeared two days earlier, and the suitcase is the only tangible evidence as to her whereabouts.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 from her past.  Ruby’s discovers that Beth and her share more in common then what  she imagined, she returns to the one place she swore she never would: her alma mater.

Via: Good Reads



For a debut novel it has a lot of punch.  There was suspense when it came to finding out what happened to Beth and drama when it came to Mark and his love affairs.  Amy gives you the key points and evidence to this case but figuring out who done it, why and how they are going to make Mark pay does not come to a full conclusion until the end.  From the moment Ruby relives her time spent with Mark you dislike him.  Mark is charming and handsome but when that is striped away what do you get; a full-fledged womanizer.  As you read and more evidence against Mark is found you really do not feel sorry for him and what happens to him.

Ruby herself is a character that is easily liked and can be summarized as a young woman with many flaws aka Mark.  She is gifted with the ability to write but misses a step in figuring out the true kidnapper’s identity.  Don’t get me wrong she is a smart woman and can gather up evidence like any good detective but when it comes to reading the evidence and making conclusions she is very flawed.  But luckily for her Heide Callahan and Detective Steven Pickens have her back.

As a reader you make your own conclusions and Amy wants you to think Mark is the attended kidnapper.  But what benefits would Mark gain in kidnapping the only woman he loves?  Absolutely nothing.  It would not erase the fact that he had four possible love affairs with his students or committed plagiarism.  All that would lead him into losing his job.  So the kidnapping had to be committed  by someone who had been hurt by him and not by Mark himself.

I felt the ending was not rushed like so many novels written by debut novelist or senior writers can become.  I felt that Amy wrapped up the conclusion of the story very well.  I think Ruby got the justice she wanted and can now look her past with an open mind.