THE FLOWER PLANTATION by NORA ANNE BROWN.
SOURCE: Received for review from Alma Books. The publication date is August 30th 2013.
Arthur Baptiste knows little of Rwanda's past and is unaware of its emerging troubles. He lives with his half-Tutsi, half-Belgian father and English mother on a flower plantation, where he talks to no-one - not even the butterflies he avidly collects.
Beni, the cook's daughter, is a child much like Arthur, but one who lives in a world far different from his own. Their friendship will take them from innocent adventures to dangerous encounters and on toward dark revelations.
As the years pass and conflicts erupt outside the plantation, Arthur comes to realize that the safe haven of his childhood and the entire country around it is about to be torn apart.
..... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Prologue: England, 2013): I was born in a flower field thirty-three years ago.
MEMORABLE MOMENT(Page 42): Big-bosomed women began to
bustle around Mother as if she were the Queen of England. Each of them rushed off and reappeared with piles of cloth with patterns so intricate they made my head spin.
MY THOUGHTS: The story of Arthur Baptiste, a boy who, having not spoken since early childhood, looses himself in his love of butterflies and his friendship with Beni, the daughter of the family cook.
Poignant, magical and harrowing in equal measures. The Flower Plantation is the tale of a boy used to running relatively free with no other dangers other than that of the local 'witch' and the local children who, not understanding Arthur's reluctance/inability to talk, bully him somewhat. That is until the outside world encroaches and conflict once again erupts in Rwanda.
As interesting as it is informative, everything about this book screams read me. From its beautiful cover which, held in a certain way, reveals a rabble of translucent butterflies to its wonderfully written plot that had me gripped from prologue to end and a cast of truly memorable characters I loved this debut novel by award winning author Nora Anne Brown.
Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, ALMA BOOKS, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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