Here’s what the publisher says:
‘What magic is this?
You follow the hidden creek towards a 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 a chance to put everything right at last.’
I enjoyed the Winterfold books which comprised A Place for Us, so I requested The Butterfly Summer from NetGalley expecting a treat. This is really two books. In the present day there’s Nina, divorced and back living with her mother and stepfather. One day she’s with her ex-husband (and still good friend) in the British Library when a completely strange woman claims to know her as ‘Teddy’ and slips an old photograph into her bag. So begins a search into the past which is disturbing for Nina and upsets her relationship with her mother. She’s always been told that her father is dead. Now the mysterious stranger tells her that he isn’t and that she should know about ‘Keepsake’. Little does Nina know that she is the heiress of Keepsake, that fantastical, hidden house in Cornwall, with its wonderful garden full of butterflies.
The other half of the story is ‘The Butterfly Summer’, a book written by ‘Teddy’ for her son and a former lover, explaining and justifying her actions (how convenient!) This story within a story describes the events of one wartime summer. Oddly, it read more like something happening in the nineteenth century, which was confusing. I confess I found this dragged at times and I was itching to get back to modern Nina.
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