Book Review | Lady of the Butterflies
Title: Lady of the Butterflies
Author: Fiona Mountain
I was never one for science so I was unfamiliar with Eleanor Glanville, but I was intrigued with the idea of who she was. I also love historical fiction, and it did not disappoint.
Ms. Mountain does an outstanding job of creating seventeenth century London. I could easily picture the filthy streets of London and the beautiful moors of Tickenham. She paints a picture so clearly with words. I found myself looking forward to picking up the book again so I could enter the beautiful world again. But despite the physical beauty that was created, she also captured the paranoia and fear that was felt by the height of religious intolerance and civil war that threatened to boil over and shatter Eleanor’s world on numerous occasions. I’m still not sure how the author managed to capture such beauty and tragedy so eloquently, but she did.
Eleanor Glanville is a fascinating woman. We are introduced to her in a prologue of sorts as we experience the fear and hatred that is aimed at her for her love of science. We then jump in with Eleanor as a young child, and though she was seen as a little odd, she was still adored by the people of Tickenham. I had to keep reading to understand how a whole village could turn on such a sweet little girl.
The book is divided into three additional parts, each part focusing on a significant aspect of Eleanor’s life. I really liked that because it helped to understand what drove her towards science and what fueled the passion that she felt. What was interesting was how much her love life impacted her need for science.
I was surprised by the ending, but in a good way. It wasn’t what I expected, but it gave me a sense of closure that I needed after the emotional ride that the rest of the book had taken me on. I particularly enjoyed reading the Historical Notes at the back of the book. It’s always fun to read about what aspects of the book were made up to make sense of the facts.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction or a great romance, because it fills both. Eleanor Glanville was a fascinating woman, and reading about her life has inspired me to find my own passion in life.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*