Children's Books discussion

I Lived on Butterfly Hill
This topic is about I Lived on Butterfly Hill
32 views
Fiction Club Archive > March 2016 - I Lived on Butterfly Hill

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Jasmine | 160 comments Please join us in reading I Lived on Butterfly Hill for the March 2016 read. Look forward to hearing your thoughts!


message 2: by Sheryl (new) - added it

Sheryl Root (sheryl_root) | 1 comments It sounds fascinating. I've put a hold on it thru my library and look forward to reading it.


message 3: by Manybooks (new) - added it

Manybooks | 8156 comments Mod
This has been on my to read list for a while.


message 4: by Manybooks (new) - added it

Manybooks | 8156 comments Mod
When I first saw the book cover, I wrongly assumed that this would take place in San Francisco. Did not know that Valparaiso is still similarly hilly, with similar cablecars and I think even a similar climate.


Jasmine | 160 comments So what are we thinking of I Lived on Butterfly Hill, I am 2/3rds of the way through. It has gone slower than I anticipated and while I find the characters interesting, I'm not loving the voice. It feels a bit preachy, not sure if it's translation or voice. The piece in Maine was more approachable for me and I'm just discovering her return.

What does everyone else think?


message 6: by Manybooks (last edited Mar 31, 2016 08:22AM) (new) - added it

Manybooks | 8156 comments Mod
Jasmine wrote: "So what are we thinking of I Lived on Butterfly Hill, I am 2/3rds of the way through. It has gone slower than I anticipated and while I find the characters interesting, I'm not lovi..."

I am also not loving it as much as I had hoped to. I do wonder like you if part of the issue with voice is a translation based issue, as I have read a number of English language translations from the Spanish that felt preachy and often distancing (and with one of them, when I read the same book in German, especially the perceived preachiness was not present, but it sure was there in the English translation, or at least, felt that way).


Jenny | 722 comments I'm about 2/3 of the way through also. I actually am really enjoying it. I love the language...(but I also tend to be one who doesn't typically mind "preachiness"). I feel like it shows her struggles as she leaves a land/home/family that she loves and goes to a foreign country...and how difficult it is/will be to return to that land. Going back (to another country...or even just to a city that you lived in for a time) never feels quite the same and I find myself nostalgic and almost sad when I try to revisit the town where I grew up or even my college town. So while I have never lived outside of the US, I feel like I can relate. Anyway, I don't find it to be a quick read but I am really enjoying it.


Jenny | 722 comments I really enjoyed it. Here is my review:
"I really loved this book. I found it moving and I thought the language was really beautiful. I wish I read Spanish fluently enough to read it in Spanish because I would love to read it in its original.

The story is set in Valparaiso, Chile and tells of a young girl, Celeste, as "the General" took over Chile. (This most certainly is Pinochet but some aspects are fictionalized.) Valparaiso sounds like a beautiful town, on the hills with cable cars (much like San Francisco). Celeste's parents go into hiding and Celeste gets sent to the United States to live with her aunt at Juliette Cove in Massachusetts. These are difficult experiences for Celeste ...filled with much worry, sadness and heartbreak but also courage, discovery and growth. There are a few things that seemed unbelievable to me (allowing Celeste to go in search of her father being the chief among these) but still I found the story engaging and inspiring. I found Celeste's character inspiring and particularly her choices near the end.

And as I mentioned, I loved the language as well as some of the lessons woven into the fabric of the story.

Celeste's mom compares our souls to earthquakes...an earthquake causes things to topple and feel unsecure. Celeste asks, "So-are you saying that our souls can be knocked down like houses?" Her mom answers and says, "Our souls can crumble when we don't care about our neighbors or when we say hateful things about others, or exclude people for being different...But remember, Celeste, that there are always so many more ways to heal and help a soul than to break one. Human beings are just like the earth. We want to be whole. Remember that."

"I will write the Andes with the thread of the moon that I carry with me all the way to the north. And this moonlight will guide my pen to weave stories." (Page 150)

"People give away their power so quickly when they are scared, Celeste. ...I think that these horrible two years wouldn't have happened at all if people had more faith in themselves in the first place." (Page 311)

"It (the sea) is a great force, just like the heart of man, with its ability to do both good and bad." (324)

"So many times I was more like a small boat than a person. My heart was beating as fast as the rhythm of the waves. I had peaks and valleys as the waves carried me from one shore to another, from one cove to a different one." (Page 375)

"I am a refugee. And it is a beautiful word, a beautiful thing. I am an exile. That means I am a traveler of the world, and I belong to nothing but the things I love." (Page 454). What a beautiful perspective! "


Jenny | 722 comments Is there a book being read in April or is the fiction club taking a month off?


message 10: by Jane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jane | 69 comments Jenny wrote: "Is there a book being read in April or is the fiction club taking a month off?"
Hi Jenny,
We are not planning on taking the month off. We hope to post the April read in the next few days.. Thanks so much for your patience.\


message 11: by Jane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jane | 69 comments I have about 100 pages left in this beautiful book. I will post my review then.


Jenny | 722 comments Jane wrote: "Jenny wrote: "Is there a book being read in April or is the fiction club taking a month off?"
Hi Jenny,
We are not planning on taking the month off. We hope to post the April read in the next few d..."

Sounds good. Thanks!


message 13: by Jane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jane | 69 comments I came upon this book through one of my students. The book was sitting on the table in the library, and to be honest, the cover caught my eye immediately. My student told me how good the story was and how much she was enjoying it. My student then told me to read the inside flap, I am forever telling my students to do this.

I loved this book. The story and the beautiful language kept me reading long in to the night. The problem was, I also did not want the book to end. I felt that the characters were all believable. I also found the ending to be truthful. I had the feeling throughout the story that the family would be reunited, Celeste with her parents, that is.
The black and white illustrations added a depth to the story for me. In part 2 seeing Celeste's footprints in the snow I could feel her longing for home.


back to top