The Butterfly Cabinet
By Bernie McGill
A secret shared. Two lives entwined. Finally the past must come to light.
An unforgettable story of two women linked by their roles in a tragedy at the end of the Victorian era, THE BUTTERFLY CABINET by Bernie McGill will appeal to fans of THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX or THE SUSPICIONS OF MR WHICHER, and was singled out by Julian Fellowes as his Book of the Year in the Guardian.
When Anna, the young woman she cared for as a child, announces her intention to visit the elderly Maddie, Maddie recognises her last chance to unburden herself of a story that has gnawed at her for sixty years. For Maddie, rather like the butterfly cabinet she keeps safely under lock and key, has for too long guarded a secret: that of the day a four-year-old girl died at the big house where she worked as a nanny. Finally, Maddie knows, Anna is ready to hear what happened. As Maddie's mind drifts back through the years, so too is revealed the story of Charlotte's mother, Harriet Ormond. A proud, uncompromising woman, Harriet's great passion is collecting butterflies and pinning them under glass; motherhood comes no easier to her than her role as mistress of her remote Irish estate. When her daughter dies, her community is quick to judge her, and Harriet will not stoop to defend herself. But her journals reveal a more complex truth.
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- Publication date:
09 Jun 2011
- Page count:
'Beautifully done and thoroughly absorbing' — Daily Mail
'An absorbing story of marriage, motherhood and murder' — Woman and Home
'An intense exploration of maternal love and guilt' — Financial Times
'Exceptionally accomplished' — Ulster Tatler
'Utterly compelling... a haunted tale, pitch perfect in tone' — Marie Claire
'Assured and very readable, holding plenty of promise for the future' — Irish Independent
'McGill has the ability to enter the brain and heart of her characters and so to make us sympathise with people who commit acts we abhor' — Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey