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The Butterfly House

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  1,440 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
As a child, Bobbie Lee found refuge from her lonely life at her best friend's house. Rockhaven was a place of magic, colored by the butterflies that Cincy Jaines's mother, Lenora, studied. Here Bobbie found the mothering she longed for and a friend with whom to share her secrets. Her friendship with Cincy and Lenora was the compass by which she navigated the changes of ado ...more
Published January 1st 2005 by Mira
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Jul 08, 2008 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carrie by: Kirsty
It is very, very rare that a book makes me tear up, but this one did. This is a very well-written story about love, friendship, and mother/daughter relationships..
This book is also proof that you can have more than one mother...
This book is also proof that if you love someone, no matter what you go through or how mad they make you, you can find your way back to eachother. Forgiveness is imminent when you are soul mates. Ahh! Such a beautiful story!
Mar 12, 2008 Kirsty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Wow. I've just finished this book after starting it this morning. I think that so far this is the only book I've managed to finish in 1 day. I really couldn't put it down. The author is a fantastic writer, and the book flows really well. The relationships between the characters are well thought out in their complexity and are intriguing. The book as a whole is extremely moving and stirs up a number of emotions that other books don't come close to. The drama that is constantly unfolding makes it ...more
mistie k
Hmmm. I did like this book for some things. That being said, there were some things that bugged me about it. (Spoiler like talk) The ending was all neatened up like a Hollywood movie. Happy ending-ish and unrealistic to me, or, convienient type things and somewhat predictable. The wild child best friend is dying of cancer; too much time has gone by for anyone to be punished; her husband loves her after-all, and wow, she can behave like a grown-up after all. We are supposed to hate/suspect her mo ...more
Apr 10, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read, and I am really loving Marcia Preston books right now! The whole time I read this book I thought "Wow! These characters could really benefit from reading that Eckhardt Tolle book for some insight on dealing with past events!" I can't remember his exact quote....but it was something like You can't control things that happen to you - only your reaction to them. Butterfly House is a great story about how a "family" doesn't have to be biological. It also gives a glimpse of how ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a while ago but this was one I found it hard to put down or forget. I have been utterly disappointed in the trite I have endured reading recently, that reminiscing about this book makes me appreciate just how good the story was. Everything was so well written and the relationships so emotive that you could not help but to be sucked in. I don't keep many books, but this one is still renting space on my bookshelf.
Jul 20, 2008 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-stars
Wow, this book was good, flowed really well and kept me wanting to turn the pages as there were quite a few things happening and I couldn't wait to find out how things panned out. An emotional book about relationships with friends, with mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and daughters. I would definitely recommend this book.
Sep 20, 2014 S rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dark family drama with two sets of mothers and daughters. A good book, and personally a very powerful reading experience, but when thinking objectively, nothing astronomically special (even though I have to admire her writing which was very good indeed).

A good read that I recommend to all those interested in dark dramas and character driven stories.
Jun 24, 2015 Lainy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
review to follow
Tafan Kareem
Jul 01, 2015 Tafan Kareem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In clear limousin prose, the book brings you the story of 3 women, connected by friendship, secrets and a single moment that binds them together..
It was hardly Ruth's fault that she left Bobbie Lee's father. I am glad that Bobbie Lee finally realised the truth.
Abi Holligan
Aug 21, 2011 Abi Holligan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Abi by: Jessica
May contain spoilers

The Butterfly House follows Roberta (Bobbie) Lee living her life in the present day and flashing back to her childhood. Bobbie had a difficult upbringing having a alcoholic mother, a small shabby home and an absent father but she does have one best friend who brightens her days, Cynthia (Cincy) Jaines, she also has an absent father but her mother is fantastic and Bobbie warms to Lenora probably more than she should, both having a love of butterflies they work together on a pr
Mar 17, 2016 Katlyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Butterfly House" follows the life of a woman named Roberta Lee who struggles with her past as well as the present. Roberta, or Bobbie as her childhood bestfriend nicknamed her, is coping with anxiety and depression all branching from the tragedy that took place at Rockhaven. Rockhaven, Cincy and her mother Lenora's home, was a magical place to Bobbie filled with butterflies. Lenora researched the insects and had a bond with them and soon Bobbie did too, but her mothers alcoholism combined w ...more
Jul 22, 2008 Tristi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
This book was an interesting read for me. There were parts I really liked, and parts I really didn't. The tone of the book is literary and thoughtful. The word choices were lovely. However, this isn't an uplifting book. It's the story of a girl whose life is ripped to shreds and how she is barely able to salvage it.

Bobbie doesn't know her father, and she's being raised by an alcoholic mother who sometimes loves her, and sometimes doesn't. When they move to a new town, she meets Cincy and her mot
Bobbie and Cincy are two best-friends who spend their childhood together to escape the problems they have with their own families. Both girls' fathers are missing and they have problems with their mothers. As time goes on, each girl begin to gravitate to the other's mothers causing a unique tension. One day, while each girl was with the other's mother, tragedy strikes causing the four of them to be separated for 10 years. The Butterfly House, using symbolism and characters, show that love is pow ...more
Stephanie (aka WW)
Spoiler alert! 3.5 stars...What DIDN'T happen to poor Bobbie Lee? Her mom's an alcoholic. Her dad left her mom for her mom's step brother (yes, you read that right). Her close relationship with her best friend's mother leads her best friend and her mom to think they are lesbians. Her best friend burns down her mother's house, killing Bobbie's mom, sending her BF's mother to prison and leaving her best friend to run away. With scars from the fire and a cast, Bobbie attempts suicide from a bridge. ...more
Heather Wilson
When a stranger shows up at her door seeking her assistance, Roberta (Bobbie) is forced to face the tragedies of her childhood she's been hiding from for years. She must recall growing up with an alcoholic mother and without a father, finding an alternate family, struggling through adolescence and how all of those factors came together to a tragic conclusion.

I'm ambivalent about this book. It didn't impress me greatly, it didn't disappoint me greatly. I'm not sure that's a good thing, consideri
Nov 28, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in mother/daughter relationships and butterflies
Shelves: 2008read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 03, 2010 Victoria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, family
This book solidly fits into that Lifetime-movie-esque women’s fiction category. It opens a bit slowly and it takes a while for Bobbie, the main character, to become a fully sympathetic character. But, as more pages pass, and Bobbie’s story - told through chapters alternating between 1994 and the present - turns into a surprisingly engrossing one. Like a lot of Lifetime movies, the plot moves into increasingly depressing events. But, the sadness is balanced with hope and love.

Though enjoyable, th
A. Sweeny
Nov 15, 2011 A. Sweeny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will be honest that so far this book as sucked me in where with the last one I read I had a bit of a problem- meaning that this one speaks to me more. And the writing is almost flawless- I am on chapter 7 -will see how it goes from here :)

I am now done with this story and I stayed up till 3am to finish it. The author's words flow like silk, and I find that the drama was very believable. For those reviewers who don't believe that something like this can happen- well good on you-as you have been
May 03, 2010 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2015 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cincy and Bobbie are best friends from being little girls. Cincy lives with her mother who keeps and studies rare butterflies for a living, Bobbie Bobbie adores her and wishes her own mother were more like Lenora. Bobbie is brought up by her alcoholic mother, Ruth, who has little time for her child. The book follows the childhood and teenage years watching the girls grow and relationships develop. In the present day as the book begins Bobbie is married, Cincy is missing, Lenora is in jail, and R ...more
Jan 27, 2017 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the beginning the amount of adjectives were a nuisance. Marcia Preston really liked to describe using completely irrelevant analogies. And that's the other thing, at the beginning, the analogies were rampant and somewhat unacceptable. That being said, the writer and reader move past this initiation. You learn about the world the characters are in through the way the first-person protagonist feels about her environment. Plus, the characters all become so loving toward one another, and you fear ...more
Lucy Easton
May 14, 2014 Lucy Easton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! I'd say its definitely 'chick lit' as it is very much a book about relationships between women,particularly mother/daughter.
The relationships between the characters are complex and at times dysfunctional,just like real life! No perfect picture book 2.4 families here(haha!) I especially liked the relationship between Lenora and Bobbi and how it evolves and progresses(much like the butterflies) through the course of the novel. I enjoyed the factual parts about the butte
Oct 16, 2010 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was okay. It was slow getting started and the descriptions of all the butterfly life cycles was rather boring. I had to skim over parts because I just wasn't interested in lengthy explanations of butterflies.

However, once the story got going, I was more interested. I couldn't really relate to Roberta, the main character, and became slightly frustrated with her at times. I also felt like the book was lacking in some descriptions of the past. Roberta was in a mental health instituation
Sophie Christina
This is probably one of my favourite books of all time. I read it back in 2009 and it still has an effect on me. Being a keen Lepidopterist, I was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the butterfly content, including metamorphosis and scientific names etc. I admit I was a bit dubious at first, because I have been let down by many a book wrongly referencing to the subject of Lepidoptera, but I couldn't fault this at all. Kuddo's to Marica for her brilliant research! Sometimes when you study an ...more
Jan 05, 2015 Brenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marcia Preston's The Butterfly House is a good read. The basic storyline is 2 single mothers, each with their own past, each raising a daughter, and the daughters become best of friends at a very young age. Preston's writing flows well and her characters are well defined. She bounces between the present and the past, with Roberta being the narrator. The transitions between the two timeframes are easy to follow. All the characters, flaws and all, I found to be likeable and I finished the book rat ...more
I picked this book up with the intention of only reading a few pages to kill some time while my little boy took a nap at my Mum's house. I ended up taking the book home with me so that I could finish it. I found it hard to put down.

The text is totally honest with no fluff and I liked that about this book. The characters were believable and you totally care about them. At one point in the story, Bobbie takes a train journey alone and instead of a cliche ridden account - such as muggers, men takin

Dec 26, 2010 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid piece of work for a first novel. The Butterfly House explores the complexities of women's relationships. All the main female characters have been disappointed in some way by the men in their lives – fathers, husbands, friends – except for Bobbie Lee, who has found a dependable man, but she has now made a decision that will disappoint him. Then a man from the past, whom she thought was dead, asks her to risk discovering the truth in order to sort out the mystery of what really hap ...more
May 09, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it
Yes, another book about BFFs who have a falling out and then re-discover each other later in life. I just read a book like this (and it appears I have another one my list that follows the same formula). Regardless of the tedious plot, the book is very well written and extremely compelling. (I read it in one day.) Narration switches back and froth from the 70's to the 90's, though the transitions are seamless and often welcomed. This is not a book I would have chosen on my own, so I'm glad it was ...more
Jun 26, 2011 Margi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the journey of Bobbie and Cincy, the childhood portion and the adult as well. The characters are all really well written and the scenes that take place at Rockhaven are very vivid. A great many subjects are broached in the story as well, homosexuality and mental illness to name a few. The butterfly is a beautiful reference to the freedom the characters were all searching for. Marcia Preston notes that Margaret Atwood and John Irving are in her top ten authors and I think that is ...more
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Marcia Preston (M.K. Preston) grew up on a wheat farm in central Oklahoma. From her father she learned the art of storytelling; from her mother, a reverence for books; and from Oklahoma's red earth, a love of wildlife and the outdoors.
More about Marcia Preston...

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