BOOK CLUB: The Butterfly Room

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Author: Lucinda Riley
ISBN: 9781529014990
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: 23 April 2019
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Lucinda Riley is the No. 1 bestselling author of The Seven Sisters series and her latest release is the standalone story The Butterfly Room.

This book is impressive, I have to say. The cover is a gorgeous image of blue butterflies and greenery through an ornate window. Also impressive is the sheer size of this multi-generational story, coming in at over 600 pages.

The Butterfly Room is told over multiple timelines and explores the life of Posy Montague and her beloved family home Admiral House. Posy is approaching seventy and she knows that regardless of the lifetime of memories and the exquisite garden she’s created that the time is coming that she’ll have to sell, the old house is starting to come down around her.

As Posy struggles with her own sons she is faced with a blast from the past when her first love Freddie reappears, fifty years after abandoning her with a broken heart. She will soon discover that there are devastating secrets to be revealed.

A story of betrayal, loss, family, secrets and second chances The Butterfly Room looks like an engaging saga to sink your teeth into.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Posy Montague is approaching her seventieth birthday. Still living in her beautiful family home, Admiral House, set in the glorious Suffolk countryside where she spent her own idyllic childhood catching butterflies with her beloved father, and raised her own children, Posy knows she must make an agonising decision. Despite the memories the house holds, and the exquisite garden she has spent twenty-five years creating, the house is crumbling around her, and Posy knows the time has come to sell it.

Then a face appears from the past – Freddie, her first love, who abandoned her and left her heartbroken fifty years ago. Already struggling to cope with her son Sam’s inept business dealings, and the sudden reappearance of her younger son Nick after ten years in Australia, Posy is reluctant to trust in Freddie’s renewed affection. And unbeknown to Posy, Freddie – and Admiral House – have a devastating secret to reveal . . .

You can follow Lucinda Riley on Facebook and her Website.

The Butterfly Room is available now through Pan Macmillan and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading The Butterfly Room so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

I can’t wait to read what our members thought of this one.

10 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Butterfly Room

  1. As usual I waited eagerly for my book to arrive, this one came a bit late and when it did it was a huge book(compared to others we have read) but this in no way made it harder to read.

    The style was quite simplistic but I enjoyed that and there was so much to weave together. As we went from Posy’s child hood to her early days in university to her being a grandmother( and back and forth), this style did suit the storyline.

    I did, in spots think of what I was reading – what did this have to do with the ‘plot’ but it was background information and revealed its relevance later. In some places, yes I didn’t think that we needed so much information, but overall, it gave a feel to the story and set the pace to wrap it all up.

    I read this more or less over a weekend away and I loved Posy. Such a beautiful lady, whose family means the world to her and the characters involved even tho some returned many years later, the story revolves around all of them. I would love to visit (or live in) such a house as Admiral house.

    As to the twist, I did not guess it exactly, but I did feel the end was a bit soft.

  2. I devoured this book over 1 weekend. What an excellent read. Normally I don’t like books that skip from one era to another and back but this worked I totally recommend this book to others

  3. I love thick books that I can really become engrossed in and this one is a good 500+ pager.
    The story is based around Posy and flicks between different stages of her life from when she was a young child right up to her later years when she has grown sons and grandchildren. We get to know each of her sons really well and see that even though two children can be raised in the same way it doesnt mean that they will have the same personality traits. Each of her sons are very different.
    I loved how this story shows that this family has a lot of love within it and even so nothing is perfect but thats ok.

    This book really is an awesome read and it certainly helped with my arm muscles as I carted this book around several hospital and medical visits. It would certainly be a perfect Winter read.

  4. Lucinda Rylie never fails to deliver and The Butterfly Room is another wonderfully written story of love, and how family secrets can impact on future generations. I loved this book could not put it down. I gave it 5 stars and highly recommend it.

  5. Many thanks to Beauty and Lace bookclub and Macmillan for the opportunity to read and review Lucinda Riley’s book The Butterfly Room.

    This is the first book of Riley’s that I have read, but if this book is indicative of her work it certainly won’t be the last.

    The story begins in June 1943 in Suffolk with seven years old Adriana Rose Anderson, affectionately known as Posy, collecting butterflies with her beloved father, Lawrence, in the grounds of their home Admiral House. Lawrence is a fighter pilot, injured in action and recuperating at the family home. Posy is shattered when Lawrence advises that he has been deemed fit enough to return to action.

    The family are clearly well off, they have a large house with many rooms and a large garden, big enough to host parties and croquet matches with Maman’s bohemian French friends, as well as Daddy’s English friends, including his best friend Uncle Ralph, and a Folly with a locked room at the top where Lawrence conducts his magical butterfly research.

    We then move to September 2006, Posy, now Posy Montague although long since widowed, is back living at Admiral House and excitedly awaiting the return of her younger son Nick who abruptly left England for Perth, Australia, ten years previously. Nick is an accomplished business man in the area of antiques, by contrast his older brother Sam, who still lives in Suffolk, is a failure at every venture he turns his hand too. In order to make ends meet and feed and clothe their children, Sam’s wife Amy works as a receptionist at the local hotel.

    As the tale unfolds we learn more about Posy’s life since the day in 1943 that Daddy returned to the war, her absent mother, Daddy’s untimely death as the war draws to a close, her loves and losses as well as glimpses into the lives of Nick, Sam and Amy.

    Then as Admiral House begins to crumble around her, her comfortable world is shaken by the re-emergence of her first love, who left her without explanation many years previously. His return seems to set in motion a series of events that will eventually lead to a most unexpected ending.

    This is a beautifully written book with fabulous imagery and strong believable characters as Riley deftly weaves a story of love and loss that leads us to a shocking twist.

    I would also like to commend Riley as she, along with some other fabulous authors, are bravely incorporating the realities of domestic violence into their works in a sensitive yet accurate manner. For those currently experiencing domestic violence, or those who have recently escaped this is a trigger warning, while at the same time a reminder to others to keep a close eye on your friends and family, and be prepared to step up if needed.

    Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a good read, I give it five stars.

  6. Love a good multi-generational story with secrets and second chances and The Butterfly Room doesn’t disappoint.

    Posy Montague lives in the family home called Admiral House where she spent her childhood catching butterflies with her loved father. She loves her family home and it is full of happy memories. Posy is getting old and is undecided about making the hard decision as to whether to sell her beloved house. Should she sell to help her son Sam with his property development business even though his past adventures have been disastrous. Her other son Nick returns home after many years living in Australia to open an antiques shop and an old flame also appears on the scene.

    It is a large book over 600 pages but its wonderful story told in dual timelines will keep you turning the pages despite its size. The beautiful old English manor house, the well developed and unforgettable characters, the secrets, the loss and love all round up to make this book a 4 star must read.

  7. The Butterfly House, “one small beat of a butterfly’s wings can make all the difference in the world”, the most memorable sentence to me in the book…. what a wonderful and enthralling story covering several generations and time periods.

    The story from when Posy is just a small child and covers her life to now being in her 70’s. The characters are entertaining and the story is easy paced and believable. The story explores many real life struggles of families from love to hate and also the tragedy of love lost and also misplaced.

    There is a strong focus on the family house Admiralty House as if it were also a main character, being the holder of such love and also so many secrets and also how it has aged and is now in disrepair and in need of a new owner.

    It explores how from one family the lives of the children can be so different from each other and the struggle of a mother to support and be loyal to everyone.

    A story with many twists and turns and a chance of a new beginning… the secrets that will be revealed toward the end of the book are in start comparison to the start.

    A truly entertaining read and would recommend it to anyone who has lived, loved, lost and suffered. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to review this book…. I loved it.

  8. A comforting tale with personable characters set between London and a quaint village in England. I never wanted to leave. Great for holiday reading or rainy wintery nights. If they make a movie it’s definitely something for Colin Firth. I got half way through the book not really caring what the big secret was, the story was nice in itself. One secret reveal blew my mind and the others I saw coming (they’re all revealed at pretty much the same time) and then it’s kind of an anti-climax getting back to the story again.

  9. So much of this wonderful story spoke to me on a personal level. I read the book in a bolt and yes, it is all of 628 pages, finishing it at 6am after a read through the night. I do not answer to anyone so my time is my own. I wrote immediately to Lucinda Riley to share my thoughts. As a woman who is celebrating her 70th birthday this year and a mother of two grown sons, there is much in this narrative that relates to me. I love my sons but do have issues with the behaviours of one while the other is a moral man. I do recognize that the worry about our children remains a constant. I am a widow of 13 years and miss my lovely man every day. How I related to the words, “golly, I miss sex!” I have learnt that polite company does not encourage discussions of sex or lack thereof. As secrets unfolded across the pages, I was mesmerised by the author’s imagination skills and her ability to weave connections between her characters. I amaze myself by continuing to enjoy my role in the workforce at my age but I take note that I am well past the accepted age of retirement and have every right to take it easy. Three considerations captured my notice as they reflect my reactions in my life. Posy pondered that while her body had seen almost seventy years, his had too. Gone with the Wind has moved me across the years and I have often endorsed Scarlett O’Hara’s plan to think about it tomorrow. The reflection towards the end of the book that re-kindled her too short time with her tragic father, “Promise me that when you find love, you will grab hold of it and never let it go.” I recommend this book wholeheartedly and endorse the common sense advice on life that pervade throughout. This book earns a rating of five stars from me.

  10. This was a great read, it did take until halfway through for me to feel I was really getting into the story, but once I got there, I didn’t want to put it down. It is another dual timeline novel, which seem to work so well these days. I found I enjoyed the now timeline more than the past timeline, I was able to really get into it and there were many many threads all weaving their way to become a whole.

    To begin with I only really liked Posy, both past and present Posy, she was a great kid and a just as great older lady. But as the story moved on, most of the characters grew on me and I found myself hoping that things would work out for all of them. The only exception was Posy’s son, Sam, he was one character that I had absolutely no time for and seriously hoped he’d get what he deserved, and to a point he did, but I felt he deserved more lol.

    There were plenty of secrets to uncover, a few really big ones. I have to say, I do get annoyed when characters won’t communicate with each other and Posy’s son Nick does just that with his girlfriend Tammy, so many misunderstandings could be avoided if he’d just manned up and told her what was going on, I felt he didn’t deserve the girl at one point, I thought it was ridiculous not to tell her what was going on. Authors seem to enjoy adding in this biplay between characters, I wish they didn’t though as I find it so frustrating.

    Overall this was a highly enjoyable read and I’d give it 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

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