Iron Butterfly

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What is it about the past that lures the curious like a moth to the flame? Edward Bennett is intent on exploring the past. Edward is a young man, college-educated, about to begin time abroad. Edward is currently seeing Celeste, a young woman he’s been friends with since childhood. However, there is another woman who has a predominant presence in his life: His Mother Marie. The possibility of skirting curfew rules leads Edward to abruptly end an intimate moment with Celeste. Marie loves Edward but is overprotective at best. Edward seeks to placate his Mother but also bristles at her set ways. Before Edward is due back at school, he and his friends are traveling to Italy. Edward plans a side trip to Lavenna, the town where Marie was born and raised. Marie explicitly warns him away from any such tomfoolery. Edward decides to display independence and ignore his Mother.

Edward wants to learn more about his Mother and her heritage. Lavenna is a town that is off the beaten path, yet Edward eventually finds it. The town was leveled by an earthquake a few years back and still displays ruinous evidence. Edward eventually finds records relating to his Mother’s birth but finds more questions than answers. Fortune is on his side when after an inquiry into his Mother, he is introduced to a cousin. Edward is both enchanted and intrigued by his Mother’s homeplace.

Marie has kept her life in Italy close to her. Her father served in World War for the United States and eventually relocated there. He planned to send for his family once enough money had been saved. Maria was watched over by her Mother and Grandmother while in Lavenna. Three generations living under the roof, the older women are strong role models for their ward. Her childhood was marked by two troubling events: World War II and the mental breakdown of her Mother. Both are interconnected and form the reason for Marie’s reticence about her past. Marie wished that Edward didn’t make the trip to Lavenna, as his journey into nostalgia threatens to open old wounds.

Iron Butterfly is an affecting drama about love and family. The family dynamics are well written and relatable as personified by the Bennett Clan. The main focus is Edward and Marie, but Father (Guy) and siblings (Albert and Lisa Marie) make a lasting impression as your tight-knit, semi-dysfunctional family. Author Andrew Eustace Anselmi writes with a keen grasp of his character’s emotions, never feeling over the top in the display. An emotionally satisfying and overall enjoyable read.


Reviewed By:

Author Andrew Eustace Anselmi
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 317 pages
Publisher Level Best Books
Publish Date 2021-Mar-15
ISBN 9781953789020
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue March 2021
Category Popular Fiction
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