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The Butterfly Sister

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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,415 ratings  ·  302 reviews
"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."

Eight months after dropping out of Tarble, an all-women's college, twenty-two-year-old Ruby Rousseau is still haunted by the memories of her senior year-a year marred by an affair with her English professor and a deep...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Community Reviews

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Diane S.
For a first novel this was very evenly paced, and the writing is amazingly reader friendly.Takes place at a small women's college near Chicago and features a college professor who takes advantage of his students, in more ways than one. He is your typical disgusting cad, one readers just love to hate and hope that he gets his in the end. Many twists and turns as we get near to the end of the book, a few I did not see coming.

My favorite parts though featured Plath, Sexton, Woolf and Perkins, the d...more
Heather
Aug 06, 2013 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
The ideal summer read.

This author’s debut strikes at the sensitivity often surrounding feminist literary classics. This first person account is an eloquent mix of past indiscretions, present mysteries, and potential future decisions. Ruby’s journey is a fast-paced, emotional, and mysterious. It left this reader with a powerful lasting impression and a deep need to reread the works of Woolf, Plath, and Gilman – something I’ve not felt in years.

Disclosure: This ebook was provided to me free of c...more
Lethasian
I honestly don't believe that this book deserves the three-star ratings that I saw on here. It's not my thing, really. Most of my personal collection is comprised of fantasy, steampunk, horror, and the like. Maybe that colors my opinion but I don't think this was a bad book, I wouldn't say it was watered down as I read in one of the reviews. All in all, I liked it. It was sad, it kept me reading, and I did really like it. I also wouldn't have guessed the end until I finally came to it. So I real...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On Ageless Pages Reviews!

I liked this quite a bit. I didn't love it, but Amy Gail Hansen pulled me into her story easily and early. The mystery is intriguing, the characters are well-drawn, and the writing itself is sold. Part mystery, part thriller, the author blends together the various aspects of The Butterfly Sister into an interesting and compulsively readable novel. Fast-paced, with several, unexpected twists and turns, readers will find themselves drawn...more
Betsy
Aug 19, 2013 Betsy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
I would prefer to give this book 3 1/2 stars. Somewhere between good and really good. I purchased a copy of "The Butterfly Sisters" on Amazon after seeing it advertised on Goodreads. It's an easy book to read. I liked the author's writing style and the story was well-paced (until the end). I also liked the themes of women's literature, creativity, suicide, madness, New Orleans, ghosts, and the bittersweet angst of college romances. It even reminded me a bit at the beginning of "The Bell Jar," a...more
Rob Slaven
As usual I paid nothing for this book but also as usual I'll review it candidly anyway. I received this book through the kind consideration of a GoodReads giveaway just as I have so many others.

Our protagonist is a broken woman, the victim of a spurned and ill-advised love. She revolves in her sad and wounded orbit until one day a suitcase shows up on her doorstep that belongs to an old acquaintance from her former college. From there the story twists mercilessly and unexpectedly to its whiplash...more
BRNTerri

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 e...more
Dianne
This is one of the better debuts I have read this year.
I could not put the book down I started it yesterday morning and finished it early this morning.
It was dark but not overly dark, it also had a gothic feel to it
and major twist at the end that kept me reading. add in the way she used Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and Charlotte Perkins with the main character Ruby and you have the makings of a good book. She kind of lost me at the end and I am wondering how she will feel about it after she has...more
Cari
An utterly predictable and incredibly light read. In the author's notes, she mentioned writing this book because she finished reading a novel that had just been released as a major motion picture and thought, "I could have written that." I had the same feeling reading this book.
Kaleena Melotti
Wow! If you're looking for a slightly romantic thrill ride that makes you question your own sanity, let alone the characters, then this is the book for you!

I can hardly believe this is Hansen's debut novel, as the writing style is so spectacular. (Not that debut authors aren't capable of spectacular novels, but as with any case, everything gets better with practice, and this seems so seasoned already!) It's safe to assume that I'll be checking out any of Hansen's future work.

Ruby Rousseau is hau...more
Chelsey
Amy Gail Hansen and her leading character, Ruby Rousseau, spin in a tale that hooks you after the first sentence and doesn’t let loose until you have turned the last page. This is a twisted, dark tale of a girl and an old college acquaintance of her hers that goes missing. Ruby had an awful experience at Tarble, the women’s college that she attended all the way up until her senior year. Ruby had a horrifying experience there and is now suffering the depression and aftermath of it; a broken affai...more
Booksintheburbs
This was the perfect mix of secrecy, mystery, murder, and revenge. The book certainly had gothic tones to it, but it was also a story, that sadly some people can probably relate to. We’ve all heard the stories of professor falling in love with student, student being expelled or shunned, and professor somehow moving on unscathed. So, what happens when the professor doesn’t get away with it???

Well, this story explores that and the secrets behind those who are left to pick up the piece after the af...more
Emily
Ruby Rousseau can't seem to get past the memories of Tarble. Even with counseling she is still struggling with the events that had her leaving the college ten months earlier. When an unexpected delivery of a suitcase from a former classmate arrives, everything around Ruby shifts. Ruby is thrust into a mystery surrounding Beth and forced to face everything she ran away from. In a journey that reroutes Ruby's life, you are swept into a mesmerizing story about betrayal, a puzzle that needs to be so...more
Margi
The story is relevant, professor dating students. I was very intrigued through most of this novel. Then the last few chapters....ugh. Terrible ending. Sorry. Just thought it did not live up to the great beginning. If it could of kept going with the great mystery of the suitcase and the missing girl it would have been great. Just "eh" for me.
MissSusie
This was a different story than I expected, it turned out to be a darn good thriller and Amy Rubinate's narration just made it all the better!

Ruby is a much damaged woman after a bad affair she drops out of college and moves home when one day a delivery is made to her house of a suitcase belonging to her former roommate Beth but when Ruby sets out to find Beth she instead finds out that she is missing. This mystery takes her back to the scene of her heartbreak, Tarble College, where she finds an...more
Katherine
description
"Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."- A Room of One's Own

Setting:New Orleans, Louisiana; Kenosha; Illinois; Oak Park, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 2012-2013

Coverly Love?:No; it's a lock.

Plot:It's been one year since Ruby Rousseau has tried to commit suicide. After dropping out of the prestigious Tarble Women's College, she is living with her mother and writing for the local paper. Her mundane life will s...more
Luanne Ollivier
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 B...more
Sherri
I received The Butterfly Sister as an Early Review book. I glanced at the other reviews before I started and saw the 1st review was not so positive so I didn’t finish reading any of the reviews so I would not be biased. As I started reading I did keep looking for something to not like. The story is about a young woman who dropped out of college her senior year because of a disastrous relationship with her professor, a failed suicide and then a friend goes missing. The author Miss Hansen includes...more
Annie Michelle
the butterfly sister... 3 stars, just barely

I love the New Orleans setting and references about the south, I could see where the author was trying to go, just did not like the way she got there. I also really like the cover art, I wanted to like the book better than I did.
The last ¼ of the book was the best for me, that’s when I finally started to like the main character Ruby who in the beginning was just a sap…. I must say the last page made me smile.
This is a story of a young impressionable wo...more
Dana
"The Buttery Sister" was really a gem! The book was described as "a moving Gothic tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature." That description was dead on. Thiswas an unexpected mystery coupled with literature and suicide- perfect for me! Ruby fell in love with her college professor and when he ended the affair she attempted suicide. One year later, she was suddenly drawn back to the college when one girl attempted suicide and another was missing. What was so great a...more
Lectus
Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/08/...

Ruby's acquaintance, Beth, disappeared, the odd thing is that Ruby received Beth's suitcase. For once, our main character doesn't embark in a journey to find out what happened. Well, she does go here and there kind of snooping around, but not for that reason. What is eating Ruby inside is that she wants to know if Beth had an affair with Ruby's ex-boyfriend.

But even worst, Ruby can't stop wondering "did he dumped me for Beth??

Arrrggghh, I've been ther...more
Louise
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.”

Twe...more
Sarah LaFleur
A thrilling mystery with several twists I never saw coming…

I bought my copy of THE BUTTERFLY SISTER at an official signing event in Chicago. Amy Gail Hansen spoke about her writing process, the research she did, and the many iterations of the work. Meeting the author in person enticed me to purchase this novel, and by the end of the first chapter she had me hooked.

THE BUTTERFLY SISTER is about a woman who ten months after dropping out of college receives a suitcase belonging to a former roommat...more
Jessica
2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 because there was no one thing I could really put my finger on that I hated.

This is your basic, watered down contemporary mystery with a bit of a Gothic vibe. Ruby Rousseau dropped out of college a semester shy of graduating. She has several ghosts in her closet, so to speak, and she hasn't been in contact with anyone from Tarble College since she left. The mistaken delivery of a missing girl's suitcase to Ruby leaves her with many questions, inciting her return to Tar...more
Johannah Gage
** [This review contains plot hints and quotes but no spoilers.] **

I started "The Butterfly Sister" at 11:30pm Saturday and finished it at 3am Sunday. I simply was unable to put it down. I even felt guilty about a bathroom break. The writing was smooth and comfortable, the story compelling, and the themes all too close to home. I'd call this one a "light literary thriller for women" but wouldn't banish it to the labels of "chick lit" or "beach books" as some reviewers have. Sure, it's a story ab...more
Tammy
WOW...Complex....and Twisted
The past,to quote the book, " Nature's most underestimated ghost." Within this book most individuals will find someone from their past that is replicated with one of these characters. It seems everyone Hansen's characters has a flaw that holds them at bay. Ruby is smart creative, and seemed to be adjusted (when her first entered college) then come the albatross around her neck. Mark,(albatross), flawed from the get go, brings out the insecurity within Beth. Beth's dow...more
Ariel
Thank you to Jen over at Book Club Girl for the book and opportunity to participate in a chat with author Amy Gail Hansen. Click here to listen to the blogtalk radio show. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/book-clu......

This was promoted as a Gothic mystery but I didn't really see the Goth influence. The story centers on Ruby, a student at an all girls college, who has a penchant for women writers who killed themselves, i.e. Sylvia Plath. Ruby embarks on an affair with her professor and when it ends...more
Nicole Wright
I received this book from the publisher. I noticed that this book did not necessarily get a lot of good reviews, however, I did not think it was that bad. It held my interest from start to finish. In The Butterfly Sister, we follow Ruby a year after a suicide attempt and the loss of her father. Ruby had a lot going for her, almost finished with a college degree, good grades when she is taken advantage of by a professor on campus. Ruby believes Mark loves her and then Mark tells her he needs a br...more
Gabrielle Carolina
3.5

The Butterfly Sister's thesis revolves around literary ladies going insane; appropriate considering the book suffers from bipolar disorder.

The first half of this book was a well-written, mysterious literary new adult novel about a mysterious disappearance and a suspicious love affair, while the second half of this novel desperately wanted to be an episode of CSI.

Going into great detail has the potential to trigger spoilers left and right, so I'll just say I would have preferred the author rea...more
JoyAnne
A year ago Ruby couldn't handle life anymore, she had lost her father and the professor she was in love with ended their relationship leaving her feeling like such a fool. Seeing no way out she felt she had to end it all and unsuccessfully attempted suicide. She leaves college and moves to Chicago, later she finds her former roommate is missing and she must return to the college to look for her.

This isn't one of those typical "girl plays detective" novels, it's an interesting, well written, sto...more
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Born in the Chicago suburbs, Amy Gail Hansen spent her early childhood near New Orleans. She holds a BA in English from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A former English teacher, she works as a freelance writer and journalist in suburban Chicago, where she lives with her husband and three children. The Butterfly Sister is her debut novel.
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“Ah, that is the miracle of the written word. It beckons our unconscious out of hiding. It tells us things we need to know, sometimes things we don’t want to know.” 2 likes
“Without the opportunity to fully express herself and her creativity—without money and a room of one’s own—a woman can simply go mad.” 1 likes
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