The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Friday, May 9, 2014

BUTTERFLY PALACE By Colleen Coble

Butterfly Palace by Colleen CoblePublisher:  Thomas Nelson Publishers
Release Date:  January 21, 2014
Pages:  320
Genre:  Christian Historical Fiction

Book Description:  When Lilly Donnelly arrives at the Cutlers' famed Butterfly Mansion in 1899, the massive house and unfamiliar duties threaten to overwhelm her. Victorian Austin is lavish, highly political, and intimidating, but with the help of the other servants, Lilly resolves to prove herself to her new employers.

Then, while serving at an elegant dinner party, Lilly recognizes one distinguished guest as Andrew, the love of her life, who abandoned her without a word back home. He seems to have assumed a new identity and refuses to acknowledge her, leaving her confused and reeling.

Before Lilly can absorb this unwelcome news, she's attacked. Could it be the sinister Servant Girl Killer who has been terrorizing Austin? Or is it someone after something more personal--someone from her past?

Does she dare trust Andrew to help or is he part of the danger threatening to draw Lilly into its vortex?

Wanda's Thoughts:  This book lured me in early with its excellent plot and exciting Prologue. However, the storyline lost its momentum and became drawn out and my interest waned. The tempo did pick up again towards the middle of the book and developed into a satisfying conclusion.

The author manages to weave many elements into the storyline. They include a story of love and loss, with an engrossing mystery that keeps you guessing. There are various scenes in the book that I found to be deeply touching. The book had very slight religious overtones – in fact, I’m not sure that it qualifies as a Christian read. 

A few negative comments – There was a large cast of characters with complex issues. I became confused at times. The dialogue was sometimes hard to follow – it seemed disjointed – going in too many directions. I found the story to be implausible, failing to convince me. 

I’ve read some excellent books by this author, but this one fell a bit flat for me. It was just lukewarm and not one I would enthusiastically recommend. 3/5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are solely my responsibility.

Colleen CobleThe Author:  Carol Award winner Colleen Coble lives with her husband, Dave, in Indiana. She is the author of dozens of novels including the Rock Harbor Series, the Aloha Reef Series, the Mercy Falls Series, the Hope Beach Series, the Lonestar Series and two Women of Faith fiction selections, Alaska Twilight and Midnight Sea. She has more than 2 million books in print.