The Butterfly Sister: A Novel

Paperback | January 29, 2016

byAmy Gail Hansen

not yet rated|write a review

In The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen—a moving Gothic tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature—a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past.

Ten months after dropping out of all-girl Tarble College, Ruby Rousseau is still haunted by the memories of her senior year, a time marred by an affair with her English professor and a deep depression that caused her to question her sanity.

When a mysterious suitcase arrives bearing Ruby's name and address, she tries to return it to its rightful owner, Beth—a dorm-mate at Tarble—only to learn that Beth disappeared two days earlier.

With clues found in the luggage, including a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One's Own, which Ruby believes instigated her madness, she sets out to uncover the truth.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$5.99 online
$8.95 list price
Out of stock online
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

From the Publisher

In The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen—a moving Gothic tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature—a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past.Ten months after dropping out of all-girl Tarble College, Ruby Rousseau is still haunted by the memories of her senior year, a time marred by an affa...

From the Jacket

The past just arrived on Ruby's doorstep . . .To uncover the truth about a friend's disappearance, a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past in this moving debut tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature."My past was never more than one thought, one breath, one heartbeat away. And then, on t...

A former English teacher, Amy Gail Hansen is a freelance writer and journalist living in suburban Chicago. This is her first novel.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.72 inPublished:January 29, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062234625

ISBN - 13:9780062234629

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Butterfly Sister: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Read! Very Interesting Book. I really enjoyed reading it. It has lots of twist that keep your wanting to read more!
Date published: 2015-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Butterfly Sister- A Novel Fantastically written. A great read.
Date published: 2014-09-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just Not Good At All This story sounded so unique but turned out to be uninteresting and farfetched. I stared to lose interest early on shortly after the suitcase was delivered to Ruby. Most of the plot was about Ruby's past professor-turned-boyfriend Mark from a year before. She goes to a college reunion and we, the reader, get dragged through implausible situations, right until the end. I was really annoyed at all the suicide/attempted suicide attempts revolving around Mark. It's was overkill and made me roll my eyes. No way could one person, in his case Mark, attract that many unstable women. Virginia Barnard's letter to her dead sister in the epilogue did make me smile even though the stuff involving Virginia isn't likely to ever happen. Virginia's on a quest to repeat her past in a new setting- a hospital. Sounds like a set-up for a sequel but there's not to be one. Not a good book and I can't recommend it to anyone. The embossed cover is beautiful though! I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2013-10-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Debut Novel Story Description: Harpercollins Publishers|July 29, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-06-223462-9 The past just arrived on Ruby’s doorstep… To uncover the truth about a friend’s disappearance, a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past in the moving debut tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature. “My past was never more than one thought, one breath, one heartbeat away. And then, on that particular October evening, it literally arrived at my doorstep.” Twenty-two-year-old, Ruby Rousseau is haunted by memories of Tarble, the women’s college she fled from ten months earlier, and the painful love affair that pushed her to the brink of tragedy. When a suitcase belonging to a former classmate named Beth arrives on her doorstep, Ruby is plunged into a dark mystery. Beth has gone missing, and the suitcase is the only tangible evidence of her whereabouts. Inside the bag, Ruby discovers a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” the book she believes was a harbinger of her madness. Is someone trying to send her a message – and what does it mean? The search for answers leads to Tarble. As Ruby digs into Beth’s past, she has no choice but to confront her own – an odyssey that will force her to re-examine her final days at school, including the married professor who broke her heart and the ghosts of illustrious writers, dead by their own hand, who beckoned her to join their tragic circle. But will finding the truth finally set Ruby free…or send her over the edge of sanity? My Review: One October evening, twenty-two-year-old Ruby Rousseau is sitting outside enjoying the evening with her mother when a courier service drives up to the door. The woman who pops out of the driver’s side says she has a delivery for Ruby. It’s a suitcase that Ruby instantly recognizes as the one she had borrowed from her friend, Beth at Tarble College when they were both attending there. Ruby immediately realizes that the tag bearing her name was never removed from the suitcase and she explained that to the driver. The driver indicated she could take the suitcase back to the depot or Ruby could just keep it, get in touch with, Beth herself and make her own arrangements to have the suitcase returned to her. Before she could really make up her own mind, Ruby’s mother grabbed the suitcase and said they’d take care of it. Upon opening the suitcase, Ruby finds a copy of Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” amongst other belongings. When Ruby locates a phone number for Beth who she hasn’t seen she left college many months prior after an attempted suicide, she discovers that Beth is actually missing! The suitcase is the only tangible evidence of her whereabouts. The book startles, Ruby and she wonders if someone is trying to send her a message – and if so, what does it mean? The search for answers leads, Ruby back to Tarble Women’s College, the last place she wants to go. As Ruby digs into Beth’s past, she has no choice but to confront her own – an odyssey that will force her to re-examine her final days at school, including the ‘married’ professor she had an affair with and the ghosts of illustrious writers, dead by their own hand, that haunt Ruby and beckon her to join their tragic circle. Will finding the truth finally set Ruby free…or send her over the edge? Does she have the strength and courage to face the unknown as she travels back through a year she’d rather forget? The Butterfly Sister was an excellent debut novel and one I couldn’t put down. It grabbed me from the first page until the last and I was totally shocked at the ending. I sure didn’t see that coming. This would make a good book club pick as there are many topics to be discussed from within these pages. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Date published: 2013-09-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great beginning, lost me at the end The Butterfly Sister is Amy Gail Hansen's debut novel. Ruby Rousseau left Tarble College one credit short of her degree. A failed affair with one of her professors led to a suicide attempt and her decision to not return. But when a suitcase she had borrowed from Beth, one of the women on her dorm floor, is mistakenly returned to her at her mother's home, the past won't stay buried. For Beth is missing and notes scribbled in the margins of a book found in the suitcase lead Ruby to believe that Beth was also having an affair with the same professor. Ruby makes the decision to return to Tarble - to help look for her friend, to confront the past and reclaim her life. I was intrigued by Hansen's premise. The Butterfly Sister is written from a Ruby's point of view - both past and present and the narrative is switched between the two time periods. We are witness to the beginning and end of the affair as the search continues in the present for Beth. Such affairs are nothing new, but I had a hard time buying how much in love Ruby was with the professor Mark. He just came off as unctuous to me, not really a romantic catch. But this old, jaded reader can see how a young woman might be swayed. Hansen does an excellent job weaving together and exploring Ruby's literary studies and her fascination with works by authors who struggled with mental illness, such as Plath and Woolf, and who ultimately committed suicide. I thought her thesis topic was especially interesting and had me thinking. Hansen also did a great job handling the subject of depression and Ruby's emotions and feelings. The first half of the book is introspective with a somewhat Gothic feel. But, the second half of the book caught me unawares - I almost felt like I was reading another author's writing. From an intelligent, literary feel we are plunged into a watered down mystery full of convoluted solutions that I just had a hard time buying. One or two of them maybe, but Hansen just kept adding another and another. The ending was contrived and the epilogue unnecessarily 'they lived happy ever after'. This was a disappointment to me after such a promising first half. Ultimately this bumped the book down to a 3/5 for me
Date published: 2013-08-07

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“Rewarding reading.”