Jessica's Reviews > The Patron Saint of Butterflies

The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante
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Nov 13, 11

bookshelves: favorite, audiobook
Read on November 06, 2011

My first thought when I finished The Patron Saint of Butterflies amounted to only this: WOW. Following that, I sat down to consider why I was so blown away. I've narrowed it down and it definitely has to do with the uniqueness of this book. Ceclia Galante deals with some topics in this story that aren't generally addressed, and she does it through the eyes of young people. There is no sugar coating here, no hand holding, just truth that comes from the experiences of these characters. In other words? Perfection.

Raised away from everything, in a religious commune, Agnes and Honey are like night and day. Friends since near birth, the girls have a very strong bond that follows them through the story. Both have extremely honest and real voices that are so wholly different. The reader is allowed to see the world through both Honey and Agnes' point of view, and that really changes the dynamic of the story. I'll be honest and say that there may be times in this story where I was close to despising Agnes. Her devout beliefs had a source, I knew, but I kept wavering between pity for her lack of life experience and wanting to hit her for being so naive. Honey on the other hand was a breath of fresh air. So alive, so unique, so unabashedly herself. The two of them play against one another wonderfully, and their differences really bring the story to life.

The journey that these girls take is breathtaking and heartbreaking in equal parts. Ceclia Galante weaves a story that deals with parts of us we generally don't tend to address. What is friendship, truly? How far can it reach when stretched? What happens when you are on two split paths? What really impressed me, above all else, though was how honestly Galante shares her real life experiences. Through these two very different girls, Galante shows us life in a commune as she experienced it, and she does it without bashing religion. It is definitely discussed in all aspects of the matter, but never once does she bash another person's beliefs.

The Patron Saint of Butterflies is a book that really hit me in the core. This book addresses religion, the idea of humanity, of family ties, and even the tried and true question of friendship. It is a book that made me ponder my own belief systems and ideas. Best of all, this story really is unlike anything I've had the opportunity to read lately. I can't express how much it blew me away. All I can say is that I want more.
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Reading Progress

11/06/2011 page 280
92.0%
11/06/2011 page 280
92.0% "AMAZING. This book is utterly amazing. I'm just....there are no words."

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