The Sound of Butterflies
Set in 1903 the book follows the adventures of Thomas Edgar, collector of butterflies, during an expedition to the Amazon, the effects on him, of what happens there and how his wife, Sophie, deals with the changes in him on his return.
This is a beautifully written book with vivid prose and some startling, apt but unusual imagery. Rachael King describes with equal effectiveness the staid life in England, the beauty of the colourful butterflies of the Amazon and the horrors and brutality of the rubber magnates towards their people, whether slave or supposedly free.
The author shows great insight into the relationship between Sophie and Thomas and their feelings while they are apart. I was less happy with Sophie’s relationship with her father. He was a shadowy figure, unconvincing in his actions and motives which made the ending of the novel unrealistic in some respects. The other minor characters were all well-drawn and believable.
This is a compelling read, both for the story and the lusciously rich language.