20 Aug 2013



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 publishersALMA BOOKS, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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Kelly said...

At first glance I didn't think this would appeal to me, but your excellent review won me over. I will keep it in mind for the future.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh fab review. Sounds like good book. I like the whole juxtaposition of the butterflies.

So many books, so little time said...

Not normally one I would pick up but I am intrigued by your review!

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Brian Joseph said...

Looks really good to me.

Rwanda has had such a tragic history. It sounds as if this is a sensitive and thoughtful exploration of it through fiction.

I really like the first sentence.

Cherie Reich said...

Wow! Sounds like an intriguing read! Thanks for the review!

Nikki-ann said...

Not one I've heard of before, but it sounds interesting :)

P.S. - Sorry if you get this twice, I got an error the first time around.

Suko said...

This sounds truly wonderful. I think I'd especially enjoy the butterfly aspects of this story, as I've recently started a small monarch habitat here.

Naida said...

This sounds like a must read!

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

The cover is very appealing and your review is even more so! I am happy to hear you loved this one so much. I will keep an eye out for it!

Blond Duck said...

Books and butterflies? I'm in!

Nora Wood said...

So glad you enjoyed it. You can follow its journey on Twitter @noraannebrown

Claudine G. said...

It was the part about the boy who chose not to speak that got to me. I'd love to pick up this story!

Betty Manousos said...
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Betty Manousos said...
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Betty Manousos said...

a fab book review as usual.

this sounds really good. so glad you enjoyed it!


Lindsay said...

I'm not sure if I'd have gone for this one but your review has me interested. Glad you loved it!