I Believe In Butterflies
In I Believe in Butterflies, Marian L. Thomas tells about three great women who were worlds apart in the beginning of the story but whose lives were eventually intertwined. The story had a very strong beginning, with a fashionable use of foreshadowing showcasing a letter from the death bed of the revered matriarch, Mrs. Emma Lee Baker. In this letter, she expresses her regret and love to her child as she tells her goodbye. At the onset of the story, Ms. Baker is certain she sees the body of a young girl in the river and later finds a locket that she refuses to let go. The author then introduces Honour Blu Baker, Ms. Baker’s estranged daughter, who ran to her mother’s bedside after hearing about the accident that befell her at the riverside. Honour was haunted by the pain she experienced as a little girl at the hands of a neighbor, and the past catches up to her in a surprising way. Finally, Lorraine, a mystery character of sorts, who experienced physical abuse from her wicked step-mother, Old Big Bones, tells her story about the guilt she feels for abandoning her sister and her need to fulfill her dreams as a singer. It was young Ella, Lorraine’s sister, with her bravery and determination, who ran away to Atlanta to find Lorraine and who ends up in a much bigger mess than I’m sure she anticipated.
It is a tangled web of events, but I promise you that everything will eventually fit into place. Marian L. Thomas definitely has a talent for storytelling. Ms. Thomas created Emma Lee Baker, I will say, as the nucleus of the plot. The story of Ms. Baker–taking her daily walk to the river, finding a body, holding tightly to a locket that helps cause her eventual demise, and keeping a deeply held love for Honour–gives life to this story. Additionally, the way the story was told from the point of view of each of the characters was a very effective technique for exposing who the characters really were. Not too often have I experienced reading a novel that fearlessly exposes the realities of race, unconditional love, pain, trust, infidelity, and forgiveness, all combined into one very realistic and relatable plot. It is amazing how words put on a page can be crafted in such a way as to reveal to the reader the dialect, cultural norms, and behavior of the characters. The journey the plot took into the past also gave the reader an opportunity to construct images of each character in order to reveal what the author was trying to portray about these characters later in the text. Author Marian L. Thomas was not afraid to touch on the sensitive subjects of damaged relationships, sexual assault, violence, and loss. I Believe in Butterflies comes highly recommended. You will definitely not be disappointed.
Marian L. Thomas