Thursday 4 July 2024

πŸ“– Book Tour ~ The Butterfly Garden by Rachel Burton

Boldwood Books
28 June 2024

My thanks to the publishers and Rachel's Random Resources for my copy of this book

A gripping and beautiful tale of love, loss and secrets. Perfect for fans of Rachel Hore, Lorna Cook and Kathryn Hughes.

1963: When Clara Samuels buys Butterfly Cottage, she knows the scandal she’ll cause. A single woman buying property is not the ‘done thing’, especially not in a village like Carybrook. But Clara has been in love with Butterfly Cottage, and its garden, since she used to play there before the War. And when she reconnects with her childhood friend James, her decision feels serendipitous. But the true scandal is yet to come, because within six months, Clara will leave England under mysterious circumstances, and Butterfly Cottage will stand empty for more than 50 years.

2018: No one is more surprised than Meredith when she’s bequeathed a cottage by a great aunt she’d never heard of. She hopes, briefly, that the inheritance could be the answer to her financial problems. But when she arrives in Suffolk, she is shocked to discover a man is already living there. A young gardener, who claims he was also bequeathed half of Butterfly Cottage.

As the pair try to unravel their complicated situation, they unearth a decades old mystery involving Clara, the garden, and a stack of letters left unread for over 50 years…

πŸ“– My Review...

Meredith didn’t expect to inherit a cottage especially from a great aunt she never knew existed. When she arrives at Butterfly Cottage she is surprised to find that there is a handsome man living there who has also been left a share of the cottage. By cleverly intertwining the past and the present we learn more about Meredith’s great aunt Clara who bought the cottage in the mid-1960s when life in the idyllic Suffolk village was very different from its modern day counterpart. And as Clara’s story is revealed so we get a glimpse into why, fifty years later, the house has been left to Meredith.

The story flips between time frames really prettily and with neither outshining the other I found that I was eagerly looking forward to spending contemporary time with Meredith and Zach before being whisked away to the 1960s and to the complexity of Clara’s life. There’s a nice sense of atmosphere, with the historical aspect being particularly well done, as it shows that not everything about the ‘swinging’ sixties was enlightened, especially in a small country village. The story is written with a lovely light touch and gorgeous attention to detail, from the description of the dresses designed by Mary Quant, to the stunning beauty of the garden at Butterfly Cottage. 

As The Butterfly Garden gradually reveals its secrets, so a story of family drama, long buried secrets and the hope of second chances is finally revealed.

About the Author

Rachel Burton is the bestselling author of historical timeslip novels and has previously written romantic comedies.

Rachel was born in Cambridge and grew up in a house full of books and records. She has read obsessively since she first realised those black squiggles on the pages that lined her parents’ bookshelves were actually words and it has gone down in family history that any time something interesting happened, she missed it because she had her nose in a book.

After reading for a degree in Classics and another in English Literature she accidentally fell into a career in law but her love of books prevailed as she realised that she wanted to slip into imaginary worlds of her own making. She eventually managed to write her first novel on her lunch breaks.

She is obsessed with old houses and the secrets they keep, with abandoned gardens and locked gates, with family histories and surprising revelations, and with the outcomes of those surprises many generations later.

She lives in Yorkshire with her husband, a variety of cats and far too many books. By writing novels she now has an excuse for her head being forever in the clouds.

X @RachelBWriter

X @BoldwoodBooks #BoldwoodBloggers

X @rararesources


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