Post Script: The Butterfly Enigma – Lorraine Campbell

Cover The Butterfly Enigma

The Butterfly Enigma

Lorraine Campbell

McIntosh Publishing

ISBN: 9780994338723

 

Description:

A thrilling new novel from the author of the ‘Resisting the Enemy’ series. Lena, the lost child… Found wandering the streets of wartime Paris. No-one knows her real name or where she came from. Australia in the ‘Swinging Sixties.’ Lena is working in the Melbourne Law Courts. One day in court she hears a man’s voice. A voice that sounds hauntingly familiar. A voice that chills her to the core. Is it possible that this man has something to do with her unknowable past? Lena embarks on a search for more. A newspaper story. A history. A connection. And slowly, layer by layer, the past is peeled away, revealing a picture of evil involving thousands of lives and touching on Lena’s own personal tragedy. ‘The Butterfly Enigma’ ranges from the submarine-patrolled sea lanes of the Baltic to the staid courtrooms of mid-sixties Australia, to the island of Crete, to Paris, Tel Aviv and the inner workings of the Mossad, and to Rio de Janeiro. A gripping story of one young woman’s search for her lost past. Above all, her passionate and overwhelming desire for justice and retribution.

 

 

My View:

It is very interesting how two people can read the same book so differently – a good reason to have an open mind and check out books which might not necessarily be in your favoured genre – as long as the reviews are positive. I read an online review that stated that this book is about love and romance – not my view at all!

 

I read this book as a powerful narrative about a strong women embracing the beginning of the feminist movement in Melbourne in the 1960’s – a woman who wanted to and did make decisions for herself, a woman who was comfortable in her own skin, a woman striving to be self-reliant, a positive woman and overall a very determined and pragmatic woman; I could not believe the choices she made in Rio. (No spoilers here).

 

This narrative of feminism, Melbourne in the 1960’s and one woman’s strength is but one element of this multi-dimensional story. We hear the personal stories of war time 1940’s from the viewpoints of Lena’s mother as she struggles to protect her child firstly in Latvia and later in Paris as the ethnocentric war against Jewish people begins, from the captain who provided safe passage to those escaping Latvia on his ship, from Lena’s auntie in Paris and the historical accounts of war via the records of the newspapers and courts of the time, the Berlin Document Centre, trials of war criminals and other such resources. I dare you not to be moved but these accounts.

 

The stories and voices here overlap and intertwine offering the reader a rich and vibrant narrative. I loved every word on every page; such an exquisite and engaging narrative. Love story? That is not how I read this book; a multifaceted story of feminism, war crimes, retribution, courage and strength and complex relationships. Yes there are relationships in this novel – what novel concerning people wouldn’t be complete without the interactions between characters? Maybe the word lovers as opposed to love story is more fitting here? You be the judge.

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Six Degrees: The Power Of Attraction Connects Us All – Honey Brown

Clever, sensual and brilliantly written.

Cover Art  - Six Degrees

Six Degrees: The Power of Attraction Connects Us All

Honey Brown

Ventura Press

ISBN: 9781925183085

 

Description:

Strong female protagonists lead a cast of characters with lives we recognize and know, crossing paths in intimate, surprising and erotic ways. The ripple effect of one tragic event shapes each character’s experiences, but in the end it is their individual need for connection that truly binds them.

Six Degrees uses the allure, the action or the absence of physical connection to explore these everyday character’s flaws, quirks and strengths. For the first time, Honey has made sexual attraction the intriguing hero of each story.

 

My View:

I have been a fan of Honey Brown’s work since I discovered the amazing Through the Cracks, at which point I then sought out more of her work. Honey Brown is a master of the psychological drama and although this book veers as far away from her previous works as is possible that element of understanding the human psyche/the human condition is very evident in this collection of interconnected short stores.

What an amazing narrative – a thread that runs through all the stories and behind the scenes directs the action in all – but you have incorporated this element in such a natural way – it does not come across as contrived or complicated, each unit can be read as a standalone but more depth is added when all have been read- then you sit back and go…mmm…yeah…I see 🙂   The writing is brilliant –  the dialogue is not clumsy or awkward, the sex scenes are well written without appearing voyeuristic, grubby or crude and I love that in all storylines the female protagonists have power to control their engagement in any potential sexual activity – they are not weak willed, or taken advantage of, or bullied into behaviours they do not want to engaged in…they are in control.

This work is completely different to anything I have read, not erotica but erotic, and sensual, yes.  Rural Romance as some have declared this to be? No I don’t think so – the rural landscape is not a theme of the stories, that category doesn’t work for me. Perhaps the best way to describe this collection of writing is contemporary feminist literature?  That works for me. Honey Brown you are a risk taker – and I think that risk has paid off – you have written shining prose and a collection of short stories that ultimately come together in the final story to connect the individual parts to the bigger picture where ‘the power of attraction connects…all.’

What can we expect next from you Honey Brown?