Butterfly Sisters – Book Review

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Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Love has to come above it all. We have to follow our hearts and accept the things we cannot change.”

Harpeth Road Press are absolutely rocking it right now with two incredible new book announcements in the space of a couple of months – and I’ve had the absolute honour of shouting about these titles on their blog tours! Butterfly Sisters is exceptional, the work of a truly talented writer, one that I’m annoyed at myself for not checking out sooner. Her words are full of love and passion, and the storyline certainly makes you think about life in such depth as well as about the importance of family and doing what you love. I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour today – if you like the sound of the book, please do support the author by grabbing yourself a copy or by sharing this review!

About the book

About to land her biggest deal yet, Leigh Henderson is on her game. Nothing can get in her way. Except Rebecca Mayer, who’d sashayed in a few weeks ago with a former client list that would fill the entire hallway to Leigh’s office. When her boss unexpectedly offers the deal to Rebecca and tells Leigh he’s letting her go, Leigh finds herself without a job.

But that’s the least of her worries.

Her mother has some news that will change everything. She’s asked Leigh and her sister Meredith to meet her at the family cabin on Old Hickory Lake. Not only has Leigh been unable to track down her sister for years, but going back to the cabin would mean dealing with the loss of her beloved grandmother and also chance running into her old flame Colton Harris, the one love she’s never been able to completely let go of.

Will confronting her grief, speaking to her estranged sister, and forcing herself to face the love she’d left behind help Leigh to learn who she really is?

The beginning

Beautiful. Just beautiful! The start of this story ticked every possible box. A gentle but informative introduction to the main character ✔️ Makes us feel something emotional, something we’re desperate to read more of ✔️ Brilliant dialogue and perfectly penned time frames that work so well in introducing the plot and what we can expect to experience along the way ✔️ Phenomenal! Leigh Henderson instantly came across as someone who was ambitious, a caring soul, but someone who had lost people she cared about in one way or another. Were her decisions throughout life the right choices? I was already thinking about what Leigh could experience in the book, the prologue being such a solid start for her story. I really enjoyed getting to know her, as well as learn a little more about Colton, the love she had to leave behind, Meredith, Leigh’s bossy younger sister, and her lovely Nan, who had unfortunately passed away a few months after she left for Chicago. Such a good start to the book!

We soon get to learn more about Leigh’s career – obviously going to University got her a great job, despite what she sacrificed to get it. But it isn’t long before things start changing for her. Her mother wants Leigh and Meredith to go back to the lake house, even though she hadn’t been in touch with her sister for some time. What was Meredith’s problem and why did she hold a grudge? And just why did they need to go back to the place that held so many memories? Leigh also faces some issues at work which turn her world upside down. The detail in the book was already flawless, and even though we’d learned so much about Leigh’s life in a short space of time, I was invested, as if I’d known all these characters my whole life! It felt absolutely wonderful reading with this feeling, and whenever I took a break from reading I was so so eager to jump back into the pages. Already, I knew this author was one that I had to watch and made a mental note to shove all her books onto my TBR list…

“But with each passing building, her chest tightened a little more because she was one step closer to facing the cabin, her broken family, and everything she’d left behind.”

After being let go from her high profile job AND by her best friend as newbie Rebecca Mayer steps into the business, Leigh is distraught, as was I! I couldn’t believe how her career had taken a turn for the worse and everything she’d worked so hard to achieve had been thrown away because of some new blood. I just hoped her mother’s news at the cabin wouldn’t be bad news too! I really liked the sense of mystery in the book here as I tried to fathom out what this news could be, and I was very excited to find out. I was truly delighted to follow Leigh’s journey to the cabin too. It was filled with beautiful description and detailed little anecdotes from her childhood. She even bumps into that old flame, the memories of him held close to her heart, even after all these years. I really liked how the author had created Meredith’s character – she seemed a little mysterious and there was a constant feeling of wondering whether she’d even turn up at the cabin at all. The development of her personality was spot on, even though we’d not really met her yet!

The emotions Leigh feels as she steps foot in that cabin made my own eyes brim with tears. It was so easy to imagine her feelings, her childhood memories and just how her Nan would have reacted to seeing her again if she was still alive. Once again, this has been written flawlessly! It felt so easy to settle into cabin life with Leigh and her family thanks to the author’s perfectly worded paragraphs. Things felt so cosy at times which was so pleasant, but there were also times where we join Leigh in feeling on edge. Colton and Meredith seem to have picked up their friendship from where they left off, leaving Leigh feeling like a spare part, even though it shouldn’t have been that way after her relationship with Colton all those years ago. Would they ever be able to bring their relationship up to speed to make up for lost time? Would she be able to watch from the sidelines as her sister and old flame enjoy their time together, and cope with the news from her mother, and find herself a new job in the process? There was so much to explore already, and I loved the direction things were going in!

The middle

Seeing Leigh in ‘work mode’ and speaking to the project manager of a nearby failing development was very impressive. It was clear she was an incredible consultant and knowing just what she could do to help the development thrive had me thinking of all sorts of opportunities, not just for the area, but for Leigh too. Could she really make a difference and use this opportunity as her own personal project, to really show what she could do? Would it open a up a whole pile of opportunities for her career-wise, leading to her moving to the cabin? I had no clue how things could go here, but it was really nice to imagine so many possibilities for a wonderful character who so truly deserved it. Her conversations with Colton also start to become much more interesting. They both seem to have more to say but keep it to themselves. Maybe when they start to get used to each other again, they’ll be more willing to open up! I loved how their relationship had been written, but quite frankly, each relationship in the book had been written with immense passion, intrigue and detail.

I loved hearing of Leigh’s plans for the development, and with her given the go ahead, I really felt her excitement! The balance of work, family and relationships was written so well, and I couldn’t find any fault in the plot whatsoever. I was wondering what the book’s title had to do with the story for a while, but at this point, we start to get a really good idea, and it was truly heartwarming. We learn so much more about Leigh’s Nan, and she shared so many of these moments with Colton. I had a great feeling about where their relationship was heading! There was only one teeny tiny detail that my impatient brain got a little frustrated about, and that was just how long the mystery of her mother’s news was being dragged out for. There was always an excuse for her mother to not tell them and I couldn’t take it at times! We were halfway through the book and just as we think we’re going to get the news, it gets delayed again and again. I know this was probably me being overly excited and it’s not a negative point. The author certainly kept me hooked, that’s for sure!

“That was the thing with life: it never seemed finished when we left it. We just disappeared, leaving our lives where they’d been.”

As each character is explored further and we get deeper into their minds and lives, I was absolutely blown away by just how complex they are and how much they’ve grown since their childhood, and it’s clear how much fun the author has had in their creation. Their development is impeccable and every one of these characters quickly secured a place in my heart! Following Leigh as she works through her thoughts and issues was just enlightening, and in doing so, I was constantly thinking about my own family and everything we’ve been through ourselves over the years. I was surprised by how many memories this book brought up for me, things I’d not even thought about for years and years! We finally get to hear Mama’s important news which was very surprising, a brilliant little twist in events that would be so great to explore further. I was so invested in this book and all these wonderful characters that it was so easy to lose track of time, and it was an absolute delight to work through Leigh’s thoughts and dilemmas right there with her.

Leigh, Meredith and their mother have so many ups and downs throughout the book as they work to repair their family, something that would take time and effort on all their parts if they wanted to make things work. Meredith drops a bombshell about the future of the cabin that sets Leigh and her mother on edge, as well as myself, and over the course of the book, the cabin had become a place I also loved dearly, a place that held so many memories for the family and helped them to feel closer to their Nan. The author has clearly planned the plot to perfection, and the detail we see here is just outstanding. I wasn’t 100% certain about Colton at the start of the book, but by this point, he was certainly one of my favourite characters. It’s clear how much he cares about Leigh and her family, and he always gives out the best life advice. Can Leigh and Colton get together for real right now please?! Their admiration for each other was very cute, I have to say, and I wanted nothing more for than happiness for the both of them. Could they make things work this time, somehow?

The end

The author writes family drama just as effortlessly and as beautifully as romance, and my god were those scenes with Leigh and Colton towards the end of the book to die for! Things are so delicate between them for a while, each of them not wanting to over step the boundaries they’d put into place. Who knew if they’d ever have the courage or the need to cross it. I liked the feeling of not knowing what their futures hold, and it was nice thinking about different possibilities for the both of them, whether they found themselves together or not. Meanwhile, we get a little bit of extra news that could cause friction between the two. I almost gave the author a round of applause at this point because how things were unveiled was written so well. Colton had been getting anonymous calls and all my questions were getting answered! It was so satisfying! However, I did have my worries and I certainly didn’t want Leigh and Colton to fall out over what was going on. Leigh had to approach things just right if she was going to keep Colton close and Greystone Properties satisfied!

As I suspected, there’s a disagreement between Leigh and Colton, and I saw a side to him that just shows how passionate he is about the lake. Another part of the book that had been written really cleverly! It’s easy to understand both Leigh and Colton’s points of view about the development, and this was yet another issue to add to the list for Leigh. Would she ever catch a break?! It was at this point in the book that I found my absolute favourite scene, a scene where Meredith offers Leigh advice, something that seems to improve their sisterly bond. After the two of them clashing ever since they were reunited, it was really heartwarming to experience, and after this conversation, it seemed their attitudes towards one another and their sibling relationship had been improved significantly. I only hoped it would stay that way! Having my own sister that I adore, I know the true importance of sisterhood and how maintaining and improving that relationship over time is just invaluable, even more so as an adult.

“In the glow of the firelight, Leigh sensed that the three of them were being transformed right there under the stars that had started to peek out in the sky. They were no longer like passing trains in the night. They were becoming a family.”

There were so many scenes in the book that encapsulated the importance of family and growing that bond, and another of my favourites was when Leigh, Meredith and their mother bake their favourite dessert together. There was no way they’d have done that at the start of the book, and it just shows how hard they’ve worked on building their relationship over their time at the cabin, something the author has captured perfectly. There were so many moments where I felt the emotion creep up, my eyes getting teary. I just wanted to run to my family and give them a huge hug! The story certainly makes you rethink your priorities in life, and this was one of my biggest take aways from the book. It’s had such a profound impact on me, and I couldn’t wait to see where the author took this ending! With a few little things I needed answers to before I could rest easy, I flew through those ending chapters and loved every second.

Reading Nan’s final letter to Leigh finally made the tears fall – it was a part of the book I’d wanted to get to for so long and it didn’t disappoint! We learn so much more about why her Nan did what she did, and seeing that connection between Leigh, Meredith, Mama and Nan through this letter felt so magical, so unforgettable! Not only does the book end on such a high as Leigh is surrounded by family and a fresh start, but we also get answers about her relationship with Colton. But if you want to know how things go, you’ll have to pick up the book and read it for yourself! The butterfly theme is wonderfully written, and the book leaves us with so much hope for the future. I felt the ending of this book could even make way for a second book about these characters, and I’d be here for it! The epilogue also deserves some praise – it’s been a while since I’ve felt this good and this uplifted after reading a book like this. Amazing!

Overall thoughts

Butterfly Sisters is the most beautiful and powerful story of love, family and togetherness. It’s intensely eye opening, emotional, and really does force you to sort your priorities in life and understand what is important to you. Jenny Hale is an incredibly talented writer, one who not only has the magical ability to make you laugh one minute and cry the next, but one who also manages to do so with ease. Leigh’s journey was filled with ups and downs, and at times I wasn’t entirely sure she’d be able to juggle all the issues thrown her way, but in doing so, she grows as a person and connects with those who mean the most to her. It’s also the perfect fictional exploration of sisterhood and life lessons, one that I’m certain will be carried in your heart for years to come. Thank you, Jenny, for this incredible experience, one that I will never forget!

A huge thank you to the author, Jenny Hale, for my copy of this beautiful book and my place on the blog tour! You can purchase your own copy of Butterfly Sisters right now over on Amazon, available on Kindle. Make sure you’re following Jenny over on Twitter and Instagram for more book updates!

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If you’re in need of reviews for your own book, do get in touch to get on my submissions list! All the information you need is on my book reviews page. If you enjoyed this review and would like to support my blog, you can buy me a coffee 😊

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