In Butterflies in November, internationally best-selling author Auur Ava lafsdttir crafts a "funny, moving, and occasionally bizarre exploration of life’s upheavals and reversals" (Financial Times).
After a day of being dumped - twice - and accidentally killing a goose, a young woman yearns for a tropical vacation far away from the chaos of her life. Instead, her plans are thrown off course by her best friend’s four-year-old deaf-mute son, thrust into her reluctant care. But when the boy chooses the winning numbers for a lottery ticket, the two of them set off on a road trip across Iceland with a glove compartment stuffed full of their jackpot earnings. Along the way, they encounter black sand beaches, cucumber farms, lava fields, flocks of sheep, an Estonian choir, a falconer, a hitchhiker, and both of her exes desperate for another chance. As she and the boy grow closer, what began as a spontaneous adventure unexpectedly and profoundly changes the way she views her past and charts her future.
Butterflies in November is a blackly comic, charming, and uplifting tale of friends and lovers, motherhood, and self-discovery.
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- Helen Milenski
A heroine of note whose triumph is self discovery.
The main voice in the book is a heroine that is exploring her past, her future, and the life of a woman in transition. She is clear and unemotional, but not without feeling. She has a rational solidity that observes her life with a comfortable scrutiny whereby she learns who she truly is and explores what it means to be a mother, daughter, and lover.
I find it interesting that the author writes a juxtaposition in the cliche of characters. The men in this story are are the more emotional and sentimental, where the woman is almost stoic, but still retains depth. She sees things just as they are, even if they are only her daydreams. This gives her the ability to accept change, both outward and inside herself, with grace and without attachment.
I will think fondly of this book for a long time to come.
A Very Quiet, Enjoyable Book
Low-key Icelandic novel. Well narrated to convey the dry humor of the story. Good characters.