Book #Giveaway, Review and Blog Tour: The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill {2 Winners}

Thursday, May 17, 2012 Posted by Dina N

Last summer, I had the pleasure of reading The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill. Now this fascinating novel is available in paperback! Read on to find out more about the book, and make sure to check out the book trailer.

Book Description
Vivid, mysterious and unforgettable, The Butterfly Cabinet is Bernie McGill's engrossing portrayal of the dark history that intertwines two lives. Inspired by a true story of the death of the daughter of an aristocratic Irish family at the end of the nineteenth century, McGill powerfully tells this tale of two women whose lives will become upended by a newly told secret.

The events begin when Maddie McGlade, a former nanny now in her nineties, receives a letter from the last of her charges and realizes that the time has come to unburden herself of a secret she has kept for over seventy years: what really happened on the last day in the life of Charlotte Ormond, the four-year-old only daughter of the big house where Maddie was employed as a young woman. It is to Charlotte's would-be niece, Anna — pregnant with her first — that Maddie will tell her story as she nears the end of her life in a lonely nursing home in Northern Ireland.

The book unfolds in chapters that alternate between Maddie's story and the prison diaries of Charlotte's mother, Harriet, who had been held responsible for her daughter's death. As Maddie confesses the truth to Anna, she unravels the Ormonds' complex family history, and also details her own life, marked by poverty, fear, sacrifice and lies. In stark contrast to Maddie is the misunderstood, haughty and yet surprisingly lyrical voice of Harriet's prison diaries, which Maddie has kept hidden for decades. Motherhood came no more easily to Harriet than did her role as mistress of a far-flung Irish estate. Proud and uncompromising, she is passionate about riding horses and collecting butterflies to store in her prized cabinet. When her only daughter, Charlotte, dies, allegedly as the result of Harriet's punitive actions, the community is quick to condemn her and send her to prison for the killing. Unwilling to stoop to defend herself and too absorbed in her own world of strict rules and repressed desires, she accepts the cruel destiny that is beyond her control even as, paradoxically, it sets her free.

The result of this unusual duet is a haunting novel full of frightening silences and sorrowful absences that build toward the unexpected, chilling truth.

 
My Thoughts
The Butterfly Cabinet is a beautifully written book that stays in my thoughts long after I've read it. Based on a true story about the death of a 4-year girl, it's a novel about parenting, passions, guilt, love, loss, truth and punishment. I will not retell the story because the book description does a wonderful job on that.

The story spans over eight decades and is told in two voices: that of the elderly Maddie, former servant to the family, and of Harriet, the dead girl's mother, who writes a diary while in prison. Maddie shares her memories with the daughter of the child Harriet gives birth to while in prison. The events in the book take place against the background of a changing Ireland, with its complex political, religious and class divisions. The narrative is multi-layered, gradually revealing characters and events. Maddie, a keeper of secrets for decades, uncovers them in fragments. What at first seems to be an indisputable truth - a child dies as a consequence of her mother's disciplinary methods - becomes more nuanced as the story continues.

The Giveaway
Two (2) lucky U.S. readers will each win a copy of The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill!

To enter, please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form.

* If you can't see the form, please refresh your page, make sure Javascript is enabled, or try another browser.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

56 comments:

  1. rhonda said...

    John Irving Toni Morrison Ann Tyler there new books!

  2. Patty Woodland said...

    It was one of my favorite books last year!

  3. Jeffrey Tretin said...

    Among books I will read this summer is The Passage of Power by Robert Caro. jtretin at aol dot com

  4. Patricia N said...

    I'm catching up on magazine reading and waiting to get together with my sister next month. She always has a stack of books for me to read.
    PMNSL95 at triad dot rr dot com

  5. Emma said...

    books I will read this summer are wanda e brunstetter indiana cousins series.Emma miller Leah's choice. jillian hart montana homecoming. and more.

  6. holdenj said...

    Finally going to get to Ready, Player One!

  7. Carol M said...

    I plan on reading An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and others.

  8. Kimberly said...

    Whatever new books the library has
    Kims2312@verizon.net

  9. Candie L said...

    I am going to read the rest of the Hunger Games trilogy. Thank you

    candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. ann said...

    Probaly a cozie mystery. Just got done reading Illegal. Got lots on my kindle to pick from

  11. Margie said...

    I have several books on my TBR list....in particular, The Book of Lost Fragrances, Stealing Kevin's Heart, and Sipping in the Nile.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  12. tore923@aol.com said...

    There are lots of books I want to read. To many to name lol. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  13. Susan Heim said...

    The Hunger Games is on my summer reading list. I still haven't read it!

  14. Monja Blue said...

    10 Beach Road!

  15. Renee G said...

    I'm looking forward to reading Shadows of Night by Deborah Harkness.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

  16. Jennifer Haile said...

    I have a huge stack of books to go through, but i'm starting with Graceling and Fire.

  17. Anonymous said...

    I am reading books by Jodi Picoult right now. Patricia

  18. Connie Bolick Lee said...

    I'm not sure what I will be reading, I usually go to the library and just browse to find something.
    lclee59@centurylink.net

  19. momma8385 said...

    I have 3 Kasey Michaels books I plan to read. Thank you for the chance.
    :)Jeanne B.T.

  20. Kristie said...

    I want to read "The Keeper" by Suzanne Woods Fisher and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  21. lag123 said...

    Withering Heights by Dorothy Cannell

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  22. Jennifer said...

    "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" Jenny Lawson, The Hunger Games trilogy, "Diet For a New America" to name a few!

  23. Angela G said...

    Ooh! Lets see here... We got some Agatha Christie novels... Just finishing up the Hunger Games series... Some books my Marian Keyes (I love her humor)... a few books from the Dexter series I've been meaning to read since I've watched the show, aaaand... Arabian Nights. Oh yes, this is going to be a great summer!

    Lots of interesting books in the comments! Can't wait to check them out, too! Good luck, everyone! :D

    -zalory@yahoo.com

  24. ossmcalc said...

    Next on my list, I am going to read The Paris Wife.

    Thank you,

    Christine W
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

  25. Charity and John said...

    On my summer list is to read a few more catering mysteries by Diane Mott Davidson.
    primabee at hotmail dot com

  26. Vicki S said...

    The rest of the No. 1 ladies detective agency books and Discovering Biblical Equality Complementarity without hierarchy. 2 different books but interesting in their own ways!

  27. Lmbrunken said...

    I have been reading books by my friend Linda Noel.

  28. Amber said...

    Minor Snobs by Daniel Amory is on my summer reading list!
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

  29. gail said...

    escape from camp 14
    gkuroda(at)hawaii.edu

  30. slb3334 said...

    A new CJ box book.

    slb3334@gmail.com

  31. My Xi Hu said...

    C. Moore's Lamb, Hugh Laurie's The Gun Seller, John Dies At the End (D. Wong)

  32. Anita Yancey said...

    I plan on reading Skin Privilege by Karin Slaughter, and several other mysteries.
    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

  33. CAJUNMAN12 said...

    I will be picking up books from the library this summer

  34. Anonymous said...

    My list is very long and varied. Much of it depends upon what is available when I get in to the library each week.

  35. Anonymous said...

    I'm in the Ms at the library right now and currently reading Fern Michaels books but I also have a reserve of books that I have been given and I read a lot so it will be a real variety.

  36. littlelatina said...

    I want to read Let's Pretend this never happened, All the Truth, Final Sail and whatever else i get my hands on

  37. susan1215 said...

    A Stolen Life

    s2s2 at comcast dot net

  38. Carolyn Colley said...

    I don't really have a list, but it will most likely be a romance book
    thanks for the giveaway

  39. Karen said...

    The Hunger Games trilogy :)

    ktgonyea at gmail.com

  40. Maureen said...

    Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis

  41. Lisa said...

    A shade of gray

  42. Katie R. said...

    Any new Janet Evanovich book that may come out

  43. bettycd said...

    Rereading A Feast for Crows - George RR Martin

  44. Anonymous said...

    BEFORE EVER AFTER by Samantha Sotto - a sweepstakes win!

  45. C.P. said...

    My Summer reading list is huge but the next one I have to work on is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

  46. Daniel M said...

    nothing yet - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  47. Nickolay said...

    I am going to jump on the Band Wagon and Read The Hunger Games

  48. yellowlabs said...

    The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall.

  49. Valerie Taylor Mabrey said...

    the help
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

  50. skipthelaundry said...

    Bridges of Madison County
    skipthelaundry at gmail dot com

  51. kat said...

    Written In The Ashes by K. Hollan Van Zandt.

    kat_emerick@yahoo.com

  52. Erin Cook said...

    Hunger games
    cookster77@aol.com

  53. Nicole C. said...

    I am going to read the newest Adrianna Trigiani book.

    choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

  54. Anonymous said...

    Lots of JD Robb, The Girl who played with fire, the girl who kicked the hornets nest, Janet evanovich, and lots of urban fantasy!
    a_bartley81@Yahoo.com

  55. Jim said...

    Wild Jack by John Christopher

    jim.coyne2@verizon.net

  56. Erica G said...

    Right now, I am reading Killing Lincoln.

    cinderwhims at gmail dot com

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