Julie's Reviews > The Patron Saint of Butterflies

The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante
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May 30, 08

bookshelves: young-adult
Read in May, 2008

Ingram's Advance Magazine Supplement for teens recently featured an interview with author Cecilia Galante, which left me really eager to read this book--and it did not disappoint!

14 y.o.'s Agnes and Honey are best friends born and raised in a religious commune in CT. Whereas Agnes accepts everything their leader Emmanuel tells them and strives to be a saint, Honey longs for freedom from false pretenses and harsh rules.

When Agnes' grandmother Nana Pete shows up for an unexpected visit, she learns about the abusive nature of the commune and resolves to take Agnes, her brother Benny, and Honey out of the abusive environment. Honey welcomes the opportunity, but Agnes fights the worldliness her grandmother's escape plan might bring.

Each chapter alternates viewpoints between Agnes and Honey (who finds comfort in cultivating a butterfly garden and keeping a butterfly journal, thus the title...), striking a great balance in perspectives and tension. I sympathized with both girls, and I really liked Nana Pete's determination.

It felt like this book was written with a lot of honesty (understandably so, since it was based on the author's own experience growing up in a commune). It raised hard questions about faith, family, and identity without being the least bit preachy. I really got into the story and looked forward to each chance to sit down and read another chapter.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Bethany I just reviewed a book by Cecilia Galante for SLJ called "Hershey Herself". I loved it! Is this title out yet? I like this author.


message 2: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie I have not seen Hershey Herself, but I will look for it! I really liked Patron Saint of Butterflies (which came out this month) and am about to post my thoughts. Thanks for letting me know about the new book! I hope we'll see a lot more from this author.


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