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The Butterfly Sister

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  3,076 ratings  ·  516 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
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,076 ratings  ·  516 reviews

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Patricia Williams
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book in my opinion, especially for a first time author. It was a mystery that you could not completely follow until the end. And, it did take me until the end of the book to figure everything out. Between some of the chapters there were these letters and you did not know who they were from until you read the very last letter. Very intriguing story with lots of twists and turns.
Diane S ☔
Jul 18, 2013 rated it liked it
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

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
BBMoreB ~
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 19, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Book of Secrets
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
THE BUTTERFLY SISTER had a strong beginning, but somewhere around the half-way point, the story derailed and had trouble recovering. The book presents an intriguing mystery. The suitcase of a missing woman is delivered to Ruby Rousseau, and it turns out the two lived in the same dorm at Tarble College. Ruby is still shattered by the fact that an affair with her married English professor ended badly, with Ruby being dumped and then trying to kill herself. In the suitcase, Ruby finds clues to what ...more
Chelsey Wolford
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wom-2013, 2013, own
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
Mary Kubica
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
From the second I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down. It's rare that I finish a book in less than 48 hours, but this one, I did! Amy Gail Hansen's writing flows effortlessly and every chapter leaves off with a cliffhanger that propels you onto the next page. There were so many mysteries to untangle throughout the pages of this amazing debut novel, and the ending was certainly one I'd never expected. Kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Must read! My only regret... my cat left teet ...more
”The past is a funny thing, Ruby. It is nature’s most underestimated ghost. It is still very much alive. It’s heart still beats. It haunts.

3.5 out of 5 stars

A truly bonkers final reveal and a WTH villain overshadow this what could have been a wonderful tale of feminism, friendship, and consent in this watershed #MeToo movement.

I has thoughts.

Review coming soon!!!
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.
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
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
May 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook, dnf
I got a little past half way through listening to this book but I just can't take it anymore. Ruby is such an unlikeable, self-centered, bundle of issues that if this were a physical book - I'd hurl it at the wall in disgust.
But apparently she's "so special" and has "secrets" and "people won't understand" so she won't tell anyone anything - even though someone's life may be at stake.
Miscommunication - my least favorite trope or plot device - EVER. Books should come with a warning label so
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I'm giving it 5 stars - I loved it! This was the best suspenseful mystery I have read in a very long time. I devoured it in three days, staying up way past my bedtime :) - aren't those always the best books? I thought the pacing was perfect, never slow or dull and the main character was done to perfection. The writing/thoughts of Ruby were so smooth and fluid it felt almost like I was hearing my own thoughts. A little of the end did wrap up maybe a tad too neatly but, if you like to put the piec ...more
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
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book! It is the story in a nutshell of a suitcase, a college, a professor, ghosts, vulnerable girls and vengeance. The story was very predictable however. I figured many things out way before they happened.
I think it is worth reading for people who like romance with a bit of thriller ride, also for people who like Contemporary Fiction.
Jul 27, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
I've had a run of books that start very interesting but get boring pretty quickly. This was one of them
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Oh my, this book is really stupid. But it’s not *not* entertaining. The author’s portrayal of women is rather pathetic and depiction of academics hysterically silly. It’s not dull, I’ll give it that.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Easy, fast paced and entertaining read. It had the promise of a 4 star rating. Then came the end. A little too convoluted and hard to believe.
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.”

Kaleena Melotti
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Erik Cedillo
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
For a debut novel, I say that this was an excellent book. Even though I do not necessarily connect emotionally to any characters of the story, I appreciated their development all through out the rising action. Every twist in the plot towards Ruby's investigation had me surprised and excited to turn the page. Ruby is not your conventional girl, I'd like to say that she is very eccentric. She is the type of person who is always thinking and reasoning in every situation she is in. This comes in han ...more
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it

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
Luanne Ollivier
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #64 - The Butterfly Sister 1 2 Nov 06, 2013 06:10AM  

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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.
“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.” 6 likes
“The past is a funny thing, Ruby. It is nature’s most underestimated ghost. It is still very much alive. Its heart still beats, it haunts. And it is always impacting, always dictating the future, which eventually becomes the past. You see, it multiplies, this enigma. It grows larger and larger until at the end, it swallows your entire life. Every day, every moment becomes the past.” 2 likes
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