Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Monday, June 27, 2016

Butterly Bones by Savanna Redman, a review

Amanda thinks her life is fine—or at least as fine as it can be when she’s not following her dream of being an artist and is instead advising clients on what to do with their money. She thinks that that her life is fine except that she can’t seem to make her husband happy, and on top of that…she’s having premonition dreams. Her life is fine but she doesn’t have those dreams unless her life is a mess. And soon enough, real life catches up with her dreams.

BUTTERFLY BONES is a terrific novel about dreams, both literal and metaphorical. It is about a complicated woman living a complicated life. The genre straddles the line between chick lit and lit fic with a dash of paranormal thrown in and Savanna Redman makes it all work because her writing is just that good.

For one thing, from the opening page as Amanda experiences a lucid dream, we’re thrown into a multi-sensory world, seeing the shadow of black branches against a violet sky, hearing the buzz of insects, smelling the scent of honeysuckle, feeling the chill of cold dew om our bare feet. And from the first pages we also know that Savanna may long for a normal life but she is ANYTHING but normal.

And yet the author has given Amanda a very real context—friends, a job, coworkers, clients—that makes the ghosts and the dreams that much more plausible. There’s a specificity to the details—one client does nothing but complain that he can’t get his hands on his entire trust fund, another complains about having to pay for parking. And Amanda is caught in the middle, wondering if she can afford a quick trip from Chicago to the Caribbean to grab some sunshine.

This is a surprising book. As the story unfolds, it expands, brought alive by Redman’s beautifully vivid writing. Amanda relates how she feels when “a word hits with the force of an arrow with a bone-splitting fixed blade broadhead” and we know EXACTLY how that feels. This is the first in a series, and once you’ve read this one, you will be so so pleased that there are more books to read.

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