Friday, December 02, 2011

on book club review: The Butterfly Cabinet...

(remember spoilers people!!)

This books starts out about a women Anne who pays a visit to her childhood nanny, Maggie. With her visit Maggie tells a tale of secrets and behind the scenes of her Mistress Harriet (Anne's mother). Maggie was part of the staff at old castle like Irish estate where a four-year-old girl dies an unimaginable death that Harriet her mother was accused & put in prison. As Maggie tells her story we learn Harriet's deep dark secrets & thoughts through-out the book as she writes in her journal. 

Overall, and I'm not going to lie, totally had to force myself to finish this book! Very slow read. Although I can't say that I disliked the book. It was written well, almost poetically in a way. I enjoyed that through-out the whole book it was like two different stories were being told, two very different lives. One by Maggie and the other by Harriet. We got to see both points of view of the sad event that happened to little Charlotte. 

When I read this book it was easy to hate Harriet. She is a crude, grim and a bitter women to not only the staff of the house but also to her two boys & daughter. Not to forget that she really should not have had those three kids because of her total lack of being a nurturing mother. For the most part the only thing that I noticed her ever caring for was her butterfly cabinet with her collection of butterflies-- dead, lifeless, pinned to a board and tucked away inside a cabinet. 

Charlotte was found to have hung herself inside a wardrobe where her mother frequently put her to be punished. Harriet was accused of killing her and sent to prison. Charlotte's blood was on Harriet's hands. No doubt and for the prison time and every thought she had in her head when sitting in that cell was deserved. I can see how some people might have felt sympathy towards her. Not me. Unforgivable. 

Not an outstanding book for me but if you are into literary fiction then it's for you! 

1 comment :

  1. Great review and pretty much how most the group felt too last night. A few of us liked it for the beautiful way the author was able to write this book -- such talent! At times I even read phrases out loud to Glen.
    We're all sure to like the next book more: Good in Bed! Glen says its his biography! oh brother. love you!!