Book Review: Remember the Butterfly by Rebecca Marsh

A lot of the books I read are possessed of magic or science or mystery or love, so it is a rare pleasure when I get to read a book that delves into the soul of people. Rebecca Marsh’s Remember the Butterfly is just such a book, an exploration of love and loss.

1. Thoughts on the plot

This book follows Jillian, who is dealing with survivor’s guilt after the death of her sister, and who is also experiencing unexpected tragedy when her desire for a child ends in a series of failures from fertility treatments. Just when she gives up all hope, she gets the chance to become a mother. But even that isn’t as secure as she would hope, and she may have to give up everything for the one she loves.

This book is a heartwarming story about a woman learning what it means to love and to live, even after tragedy. It does involve a lot of situations that seem normal, if incredibly unfortunate, but when put together into one life seem almost incredible. There are a lot of pieces that went into Jillian finding her happiness, and while I am pleased with how the story turned out, it did feel like a lot.

2. Thoughts on the characters

I liked the characters, in general. They felt like they could be real people with real lives, though there was an exceptional amount of tragedy in their lives specifically. They had enough depth to feel like they could be real, but I found myself a little disconnected from them. It is possible that this is because this book was focused mainly on having a baby and trying to build a family, since that is something I’m not especially keen on. I think, however, that it was a bit more than this. Jillian felt almost single-minded in her desire, which added a touch of two-dimensionality to this. I don’t think that this is entirely accurate, since a lot of time passed between scenes and the story simply focused on these things, but most of her desires were the only thing she thought about.

3. Favourite part

I think the turn into Keelie’s story was probably my favourite part, though I can say no more for spoilers.

4. Critique

I think my biggest critique is the piece I mentioned above, about Jillian’s desires being almost single-minded and thus leaving her character a little flat. It made the story more about the plot than it did the characters, which is effective in some genres, but not one I’ve seen often in women’s fiction, where the story takes place primarily on internal thoughts and actions.

Overall, I would say Remember the Butterfly was a good story, heartwarming, and nice to read on a snowy afternoon.