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‘Butterflies in November’ by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Butterflies in November

I was one of the lucky people to receive a proof copy of ‘Butterflies in November’ to review for Lovereading.co.uk.  This book is being published by Pushkin Press on the 7th November 2013.  ‘Butterflies in November’ has been translated by Brian FitzGibbon from Icelandic into English.

This story is told by the narrator as we follow her on a trip around Iceland.  It starts off with the narrator being dumped twice in one day.  As if that isn’t bad enough, she then accidentally kills a goose which actually comes in handy as a meal for her soon to be ex-husband.  She starts dreaming of a nice tropical holiday far away from her chaotic life, only to find that her plans are spoilt when her best friend asks her to look after her deaf-mute son for a while.  However, things are about to turn around.  A shared lottery ticket wins them both a lot of money and so they head off on a very interesting journey.

‘Butterflies in November’ is totally different to any other book I’ve ever read.  I found it to be strangely addictive.  This beautifully written story is blackly comical but it also deals with serious matters as well.  The relationship between the narrator and the deaf-mute boy was really moving.  They went through a lot together and had some unexpected adventures.

I loved the description of the sign at the cucumber-farming hotel, really funny.  I also liked the idea of the recipes at the back of the book particular the one to knit baby socks.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

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