The Butterfly House Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Butterfly House

Mira, Jan 2005, 19.95, 288 pp.
ISBN: 0778321355

In 1990, a man claiming to be Harley Jaines visits Roberta “Bobbie” Lee with a request. Bobbie insists that the real Harley died in the 1960s in Nam, but the visitor remains insistent as to who he is. Harley wants Bobbie to testify at the parole hearing that his wife Leonora, incarcerated for killing Bobbie's drunk mom Ruth in 1971 in Shady River, Oregon, is about to face. He also asks if she can arrange for him to meet his daughter Cynthia, her best friend as children when Bobbie would flee her intoxicated mom to spend time at the Jaines' Rockhaven home.
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Bobbie considers both requests, but feels uncomfortable with fulfilling either of them. She has doubts about testifying on behalf of Leonora who was blamed for the fire that razed Rockhaven, killed Ruth, and destroyed the butterfly collection that fascinated Bobbie as a child. She feels strange telling Cindy she met her father long thought dead and that her dad wants to meet his daughter twenty years too late. Worse Bobbie knows the truth of what happened on that fatal day that destroyed two families. Having spent time at a mental institution she fears revealing what she knows.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Butterfly House

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   search for family/history Crime & Police story    -   Yes Story of    -   arsonist Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


United States    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   mostly dialog

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