WifeMomKnitter's Reviews > Butterfly's Child

Butterfly's Child by Angela Davis-Gardner
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's review
Mar 14, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: first-reads
Read from March 08 to 14, 2011

From the synopsis:

"When three-year-old Benji is plucked from the security of his home in Nagasaki to live with his American father, Lt. Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, and stepmother, Kate, on their farm in Illinois, the family conceals Benji’s true identity as a child born from a liaison between an officer and a geisha, and instead tells everyone that he is an orphan.

Frank struggles to keep the farm going while coping with his guilt and longing for the deceased Butterfly. Deeply devout Kate is torn between her Christian principles and her resentment of raising another woman’s child. And Benji’s life as an outcast—neither fully American nor fully Japanese—forces him to forge an identity far from the life he has known.

When the truth about Benji surfaces, it will splinter this family’s fragile dynamic, sending repercussions spiraling through their close-knit rural community and sending Benji on the journey of a lifetime from Illinois to the Japanese settlements in Denver and San Francisco, then across the ocean to Nagasaki, where he will uncover the truth about his mother’s tragic death.

A sweeping portrait of a changing American landscape at the end of the nineteenth century, and of a Japanese culture irrevocably altered by foreign influence, Butterfly’s Child explores people in transition—from old worlds to new customs, heart’s desires to vivid realities—in an epic tale that plays out as both a conclusion to and an inspiration for one of the most famous love stories ever told."

I had a lot of mixed feelings as I read this book. While the story was OK, the book just seemed to drag on and on. If not for the fact that I was required to do a review in exchange for receiving an advanced copy of the book, I probably would have stopped reading it a lot sooner.

I felt a lot of sympathy for Benji throughout the book. I can only imagine how difficult his life would have been, being a biracial child during that period of history. While I felt some sympathy for the Pinkertons, I thought they could have done a much better job in raising Benji.

There was actually one thing that really bothered me about the book. Now, I would'nt consider myself a prude when it comes to sex but, I thought there were many examples in the book where things related to this subject came off sounding extremely vulgar.
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