Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang

After taking quite a while to get started on the book, I got hooked once I read past chapter 5 and ended up finishing Bees in the Butterfly Garden in two days. Once again, this proves that I really do need to persevere with my books.

Bees in the Butterfly Garden is about lying, stealing, and how God will never let go of us. Hmm.... that sounds like a pretty decent, if generic, one sentence summary. Now for more detail. Meg (the protagonist) finds out that her largely absent father is a thief. Now that she knows this detail, she's determined to follow her father's footsteps and more or less coerces her father's protege Ian (who has this serious crush on Meg) into helping her. So she goes undercover at this rich "friends" house, but that's where she runs into problems.

You see, the Pemberton girls aren't the stuck-up girls Meg remembers. Sure, Evie is a handful (and due to her jealousy, a source of most of the trouble in the book), but Claire is a genuinely sweet girl, who's grieving over a lost love. Their brother Nelson is also a really good person, and this family practices the love of God. That definitely touches Meg's heart, and the only reason why she didn't stop straightaway is because of her stubbornness.

While I liked Claire, I wasn't sure where I was with Meg. She could be a little annoying at times, but I had to remind myself that I had both Meg and Ian's point of view, which meant that I knew more than Meg, and so, my decisions would have been different from her. I know that by providing two points of view, the tension in the book increases, but it does make me give Meg less empathy than I would have.

The rest of the characters were very well-fleshed out, and I really enjoyed reading about all of them.

In fact, the only 'complaint' I have would be that I wanted to see the villain of the piece get his just rewards. But I think by avoiding that scene, the book's message of grace and mercy is conveyed more strongly.

If you like reading about high-society New York, you'd probably enjoy this book.

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