Back of the book :
What Magic is this ?
You follow the hidden creek towards the long forgotten house.
They Call it Keepsake, a place full of wonder … and danger.
Locked inside the crumbling elegance of its walls lies the story of the Butterfly Summer, a story you’ve been waiting all your life to hear.
This house is Nina Parr’s birthright. It holds the truth about her family – and the chance to put everything right at last ….
What I think :
Nina lives with her mum and step-dad in a ‘long, thin house’ by the canal in London. When Nina was six months old, Nina’s real dad, an explorer who studied butterflies, went to the jungle and never came back. Everybody presumed him dead, even the natural History museum, who he was working for at the time. Her mum really didn’t cope very well with ‘The love of her life’ dying and being left on her own with a baby that seemed to cry all the time. So when Mrs Poll moved in upstairs she seemed heaven sent. Nina spent a lot of her childhood years upstairs with Mrs Poll, until sadly when Nina was in her teens Mrs Poll went on holiday and never came back.
Over the years Nina went to Uni, met, married and divorced the very lovely Sebastian, who she is still friends with today. Although his mother really doesn’t like Nina very much ! She now works in a office, which she finds quite boring, and spends quite a lot of her time reading. Nina spends her lunchtimes in the library, where she has a lifetime membership that her father got for her before he disappeared. Its whilst she’s there that she meets a old lady who tells her that she knows her and her family and that her father isn’t dead and that “keepsake” belongs to her. Its then that Nina decides to go on a journey to discover what “Keepsake” is and if her father is still alive. Along the way however she discovers a few things about herself ….
The book is written in the form of Nina’s Memoirs when she is a much older lady. It basically outlines her life and that of her family before her, a family of, in my opinion, strong women. They all had very interesting and eventful lives, but none of them were happy.
Right from the very beginning this is an utterly irresistible and beautifully written story, with such strong and very likeable main characters. They jump out of the page and seem very real.
I have read all of Harriet’s books and really do love them all. She is one of the very few authors that I just buy, I don’t need to read the ‘back of the book’ because I know its going to be good. This is a magical fairytale read, perfect for the summer and totally different to anything I’ve read this year.
I really, really loved this wonderful book and give it 10/10 (5stars)
Published by Headline on 19/05/16.
A huge Thank you to Katie Brown at Headline for the review copy of the book.