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The Butterfly Girl

(Naomi Cottle #2)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  6,982 ratings  ·  1,088 reviews
After captivating readers in The Child Finder, Naomi—the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children—returns, trading snow-covered woods for dark, gritty streets on the search for her missing sister in a city where young, homeless girls have been going missing and turning up dead.

From the highly praised author of The Child Finder and The Enchanted com
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Harper (first published January 1st 2019)
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Rene Denfeld Edited: the pub date has been set! Fall 2019. This novel does tell more of Naomi's story—and has a very exciting, poetic and page-turning new story of…moreEdited: the pub date has been set! Fall 2019. This novel does tell more of Naomi's story—and has a very exciting, poetic and page-turning new story of its own. I can't wait to share it with you all!(less)
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Sarah McCauley
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Emily May
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
What if we are all capable of lying to ourselves?

3 1/2 stars. The Butterfly Girl is the sequel to The Child Finder, which I personally thought was a beautiful, eerie and atmospheric thriller. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much, but I do love how Denfeld focuses once again on the disadvantaged - the poor, the homeless, the abused - especially when it feels like every thriller is another upper-middle class domestic drama.

Where The Child Finder was predominantly about private investigator Na
Will Byrnes
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lost. You can be lost even when you’ve been found. You can make the wrong turn in life even if you’re surrounded by people who love you. That was what suicide was, Naomi figured. It was choosing the final exit instead of another path. Not because you wanted to hurt anyone, but because you feel too hopeless to find your way home. There was more than one kind of suicide, too, more than one kind of leaving. How many people spend their entire lives not even knowing that they have already left?
Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)
“But mostly, in her secret heart, she was a butterfly, with magic wings beating hard for escape.”

The Butterfly Girl is a tragic but hopeful story that recounts the tragic events from one woman’s past which bind her to a young girl in the present. Both are running from their pasts, both feel an immense amount of guilt and are tempted to give up on life, but they are compelled to keep living for their sisters.

Celia, a 12-year-old street kid, is turning tricks to get by, lives in a fantastical
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
4.5 stars

"Lost. You can be lost even when you've been found. You can make the wrong turn in life even if you're surrounded by people who love you."

The Butterfly Girl is the second in the Naomi Cottle a.k.a. the Child Finder series. It can be read as a stand-alone but I highly recommend reading the first book in the series, The Child Finder first as I found it to be exceptional.

In this book, Naomi is still looking for her sister while interacting with "street (homeless) kids" in Portland, Oregon
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-m-intrigued
As Henry David Thoreau said: “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves”

Naomi is back, a brilliant investigator, a child finder, who was also tormented and lost kid, achieved to run away from her capturer but left her sister behind, now bringing the children back their homes, she also try to help herself to bring back her lost memories to find any crumble of truth about her past to find her sister.

This time Naomi and her husband, partner, childhood friend from foster home helping
Mary Beth
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Naomi is an investigator who finds missing children. Her sister has been missing for years and she is looking for her. Naomi was separated from her when she escaped captivity, and her sister was left behind.

Naomi is in Oregon, Portland and there are children who are homeless and they are found living
on the streets. Naomi meets Celia who is a young girl and she was found living in the streets. Naomi does not have a picture of her sister, not even a name. She only has one memory of a strawberry
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
2.5 stars.

I fault myself for setting my hopes and expectations too high for this sequel. A disappointing continuation of the series for me.

After loving The Child Finder last year, I was eager to get my hands on a copy of this book. While I did find it an easy, quick and enjoyable read, it didn’t come close to the enjoyment I had while reading The Child Finder. The main character, Naomi, who was so strong and admirable in the first book, lacked the strength and endearing qualities I was hoping t
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The second in the Naomi Cottle series, this novel is easily read as a standalone. As always with Denfeld, the writing is lyrical and the subject matter is difficult. Sexually abused and neglected young children thrown away as trash try to live as best they can on dangerous streets. Some of these kids turn to drugs and most turn tricks. For eleven year old Celia hope comes from her imagination and obsession with butterflies. A library is her refuge. The ‘child finder” Naomi Cottle encounters Celi ...more
Sumit RK
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The stories we tell ourselves have more meaning than the facts. That doesn’t make them lies.

The Butterfly Girl is the second book in the The Child Finder series with private investigator Naomi. Though it can be read as a standalone, I would recommend that you read the first book in the series, as it will tie all the loose ends.

Naomi, the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children, is trying to find her younger sister who has been missing for years. Naomi has
This author never seizes to amaze me. What great books she has written, and The Butterfly Girl, again, heartbreaking. Seriously good, seriously sad and dark, but always hope. A seriously good book, which I read breathlessly. Amazing, shocking, beautiful, sad, all in one. Like the first two books of Denfeld I read. Not only an excellently written story, but the language... simple and poetic. Seriously impressed, seriously loved this book, the third book of this author and I rated all three 5 star ...more
Dec 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddy-read, edelweiss
This is book two of the Naomi Cottle series. And while the first sits firmly on my favorites’ shelf, this one unfortunately won’t be keeping it company. It just lacked the magic Rene Denfeld gave us in her previous read.

Naomi Cottle cannot move forward in her marriage or career until she makes peace with her past.
And the only way she can do that is to find her younger sister she left behind. With little to go on, nothing will deter Naomi from turning over every rock! After all she is known
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This lacked the lustre of Denfeld’s previous works. The writing remained awesomely simple and descriptive to follow; but, too much of not much happening. Naomi, returns in search of her missing sister, meets a street girl who compartmentalizes herself with butterflies.
This one reminded me more of a flat Stanley given her flare with Enchanted and Child Finder.
It did ramp up towards the end, but by then I was feeling a little under fluttered.

Interesting that Denfeld, too, was a homeless kid and ho
Diane S ☔
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019
A second outing for Naomi, the child finder. She has vowed not to work anymore cases until she finds her sister. The problem is she remembers so little of the place she escaped from, she only remembers singing to her little sister when she was afraid. Young street girls are bring murdered, their bodies pulled from the river. This gets Naomis attention and she and her husband travel to find out whatever they can. She meets a young girl, Celia,only twelve living on the street, who may have answers ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

This is the first book by Ms. Denfeld that I have read, I did not read The Child Finder and this book works well as a stand alone. This book touched me deeply, as do most book involving children. I thought the first third was a bit slow but it was informative for me since I didn’t read the first book which introduced the readers to Naomi. After that I was completely involved in the book and couldn’t put it down.

Naomi is an investigator who specializes in finding missing chil
Larry H
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars.

Naomi Cottle is a child finder. She's often the investigator desperate parents turn to when they have no other avenue left to try and find their missing children, and Naomi succeeds where others have failed. But this responsibility takes a great emotional toll on her.

Naomi can find missing children because once she, too, was a missing child. But she was lucky and was able to escape from the person who had kept her captive, although she had to flee without her sister.
"Hope is grief's best music." (Author Unknown)

The strain of light notes reach into Naomi Cottle's inner being. It's all that she has to go on. Naomi has been on a journey for over twenty years weighed down by the harshness of reality but uplifted with the light feathery touch of hope. Naomi and her sister, Sarah, were abducted as children. Naomi was found several years later wandering within the tall grassy fields outside of Portland. No Sarah. No definitive memories.

With a resolve expanding mil
Cathrine ☯️
4 🦋 🦋 🦋 🦋
This one is getting mixed reviews from friends and fans and while I agree it is not as magical as her first two books, I enjoyed it.
At just 260 pages turning quickly, a rewarding climax, and infused with the author’s walk of life, it shines with its own iridescence.
As a followup to The Child Finder, perhaps not the main coarse but it certainly did not disappoint for dessert.
In her ending notes Denfeld writes:
“Life is a story we tell ourselves and one another—we can make the story full o
After finishing the first book in the Naomi Cottle series, it left me with the following thought:

Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it

Can you still be lost even when you are found?

A year ago, Naomi a private investigator specializing in missing children, made a promise that she would not take another case until she found her younger sister who has been missing for years. Naomi has no picture, not even a name. All she has is a vague memory of trapdoor, a strawberry field at night, and black dirt under her bare feet as she ran for her life. Naomi was nine when she was found. She had been missing for five years.

Naomi’s co
Susanne  Strong
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, buddy-read
3 Stars

Naomi Cottle has never forgotten her sister. Not since the day they were torn apart as children and Naomi lost her. Her sister is the reason that Naomi became the Child Finder.

Finally, after all this time, Naomi has a lead - and this brings her to the streets of Portland, Oregon. Here, she finds scores of homeless children living on the streets, and a serial killer who is murdering them, one by one, day by day, leaving Naomi racing to find her sister and if possible, find the killer.

Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
It took me nine long days to get through this book, which really speaks volumes. I loved The Enchanted and The Child Finder, but this one did not deliver a cohesive or believable story. 3 stars ...more
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I absolutely loved Denfeld’s previous novel THE CHILD FINDER, and couldn’t wait to hear more about Naomi and her quest to find missing children.

In THE BUTTERLY GIRL, Naomi’s search for her missing sister takes her to the city of Portland, Oregon, where countless children are forced to live on the streets. Lately, several bodies of young homeless girls have been found in the river, and the word is out in the homeless community that a killer is targeting the city’s most vulnerable. Among those ch
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, series, crime
Dark, poignant, magical

She was a butterfly, with magic wings beating hard for escape.

Naomi whose job is to find missing children is searching for her younger sister. Years ago the two sisters were kidnapped and held in a bunker. Naomi was able to escape, but her sister stayed. Naomi promised her sister she would come back and rescue her some day.

During her investigation she meets 12 year old Celia, a street girl who is carrying her own big problems on her little shoulders. Celia tries to ease he
Mary Kubica
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Taking a bleak look into the lives of missing and homeless youth, Rene Denfeld’s latest is equal parts chilling, tragic and hopeful. Denfeld combines her haunting, lyrical prose with a page-turning and harrowing mystery, putting THE BUTTERFLY GIRL into a league of its own. Fans of THE CHILD FINDER will devour this.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both deeply moving and hugely suspenseful, the novel interleaves the story of Celia, a twelve-year-old eking out a precarious existence on the street, traumatized by sexual abuse, obsessed with butterflies, with the story of Naomi, the child-finding investigator in search of her lost sister, left behind twenty years ago when Naomi escaped a kidnapper as a very young child. Set in Oregon, the book weaves together the human affinity for decency, yearning for truth, and reaching out for beauty with ...more
Frank Phillips
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one much better than The Child Finder!! Very haunting, chilling, creepy read, that was somehow, also beautiful. I loved that this was essentially a prequel to her first novel, giving a backstory to our protagonist, endearing her to me so much more in the process. Incredibly, it took me only one day to read this because it's only 250 pages, but it packs quite the punch! I didn't realize the author was, at one point in her life, homeless as our characters we're in this novel, but it ...more
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
The Butterfly Girl was the perfect follow-up to The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld. Unlike the first novel in the Naomi Cottle (series? / duology?), this one picked up the pace a notch and filled the plot with a meatier core. Naomi has made a promise to herself to find her missing sister and that is what she is set out to do in this sequel.

Some time has passed and Naomi is in a different place personally as well as professionally. She is still using her insight on finding missing children and thi
Erin Clemence
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The Butterfly Girl” is the second novel in Naomi Cottle series by Rene Denfeld that focus on the life of the infamous child finder, Naomi.

Naomi, the private investigator with a knack for finding missing kids, has put all of her work on hold, determined to keep the promise she made to herself years ago- find her sister. Years ago, Naomi and her sister were kidnapped, and only Naomi escaped. Without any memories or even the name of her sister, Naomi’s sparse search leads her to Portland, Oregon
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

As the sequel to 2017’s The Child Finder , Rene Denfeld’s latest work, The Butterfly Girl , sees the return of Naomi Cottle, an independent investigator whose knack for finding missing children stems from a childhood tragedy, a kidnapping that she was able to escape from, but sadly her sister did not. Unable to let go of the guilt of leaving her sister behind, Naomi has made it her life’s mission to find her sister, despite barely having any information to go off of. This time a
Julie Christine
I entered adolescence at the same time Gary Ridgeway, aka the Green River Killer, murdered his first victim, a teenager he'd abducted from a foster home near Seattle. Through my teenage and early adult years, Ridgeway killed dozens of women in south King County and in Portland, OR. Nearly all were sex workers and runaways, compromised by poverty, drugs, trauma. They were the most vulnerable among us, forgotten and easily discarded.

Author Rene Denfeld lived homeless in Portland as a teenager at
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Rene Denfeld is the bestselling author of THE CHILD FINDER, THE ENCHANTED and thee THE BUTTERFLY GIRL, which Margaret Atwood raved on twitter is "a heartbreaking, finger-gnawing, yet ultimately hopeful novel."

Rene's poetic fiction has won numerous awards including the French Prix, an ALA Medal for Excellence and an IMPAC listing. Rene works as an investigator, including exonerating innocents from

Other books in the series

Naomi Cottle (2 books)
  • The Child Finder (Naomi Cottle, #1)

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