Cover Image: The Butterfly Collector

The Butterfly Collector

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Member Reviews

Great book with characters you care about and includes a history lesson as well. Well written and narration was good. I give this a 4 star rating. I definitely recommend this book.

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The Butterfly Collector is a historical fiction story set in multiple timelines, 1868 Morpeth, and set in Sydney during 1922.

I thought the writing was so lyrical and descriptive, with elements of mystery and great characters. I listened to the audiobook format, which I thought was great, and found her performance to really bring the reader into the historical timelines.

*many thanks to Harper Muse and Netgalley for the gifted copy for review.

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I DNF. A book with two timelines which initially appear to have nothing to do with each other yet eventually twist and turn together in amazing ways. It took to long as an audiobook to have the twist tie the stories together. Made me sad after reading reviews just lost interes.

Thank you NetGalley.

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1868- Theodora and her sisters are in mourning after their parents and brother were lost at sea. But whereas her sisters want to go find society husbands, she wishes to stay on the family country estate pursuing her aspirations as a nature illustrator. And her dreams begin to come true when she discovers a butterfly never seen before in Australia.

1868- Clarrie is pregnant out of wedlock with few options. She loses her job, and once her baby is born, has to trust someone to take care of him while she goes and works as a maid for Theodora searching for that rare butterfly. But then her son goes missing and everything is up in the air.

1922- Verity desires to become a journalist, but losing her job at the paper so they can open jobs for more men. But the same day she is canned, things take an interesting turn when she is sent an invitation to the Sydney Artists Masquerade Ball along with an elaborate butterfly costume. She doesn't know who sent them, but she is willing to go to the ball and try and find out. There, she makes a connection and lands a commission to write the history of a charity that supports disgraced young women and their babies. But as Verity digs, she begins to uncover a complex mystery that goes back decades. What will she uncover, and who will the truth effect?
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Although the title makes it seem like butterflies are central to the story, they are only a subplot in this book that is much more about family and how families are made and maintained. This book has a lot happening in it and little has to do with butterflies.

The first half of this book is slow. It has a lot to set up in both of the timelines to get us to the second half which moves pretty quickly. A lot happens in the second half that you have to really pay attention to get all the layers of the stories. Then the ending is a bit of a let down because there is no grand conclusion. Everything just kinds of wraps up and ends. The pay off wasn't worth it.

That being said, even though the pacing of this book is a bit of a mess, I still found it interesting. There was a lot happening and I would have liked much more information about the butterflies, but I was engaged and wanted to get to the conclusion (even though it wasn't as satisfying as I would have hoped).

This was my IRL book club's book for March. It definitely led to some robust discussions and made the book more multifaceted for us as readers. This is a good pick for a buddy read or a book club read.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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An interesting story, but maybe just not the right book for me.

I struggled a bit with this one initially, after trying both the written word and audio I ended up DNFing.

For the right audience this would be a 4 to 5 star read.

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Tea Cooper's The Butterfly Collector flutters between two intriguing storylines: Theodora Breckenridge, an aspiring artist in 1868 Australia on the hunt for a rare butterfly, and Verity Newton, a journalist in 1922 Sydney investigating a seemingly benevolent foundation that supports unwed mothers and their babies.
While the individual stories were enjoyable, the foreshadowing was a bit heavy-handed, leaving little room for genuine surprise when the timelines finally intersect. This predictability weakens the central mystery, which could have benefited from more suspense.
The novel's strength lies in its historical details. Cooper paints a vivid picture of 19th century Morpeth and 1920’s Sydney. Readers with a particular interest in Australian history will find themselves engrossed in the settings. However, this world-building comes at a cost. The first half of the book moves slowly, taking time to establish the characters and their surroundings.

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I wanted to like this book much more than I did. I love historical mysteries set in multiple timelines, however, this storyline was slow, the mystery fell flat and everything was wrapped up too quickly and abruptly at the end, with questions still left answered. It was odd. I also thought the title was misleading since the butterfly collecting was a very minor part of the story. The narrator was a little breathy and it was distracting. I will read more by Tea Cooper, but was ultimately disappointed with this book.

My thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy of this audiobook.

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I really enjoyed this book. I truly hadn't realized that the baby trade was so prominent across the globe.
I enjoyed the two characters and their stories and how they converged.
The narrator was great and I enjoyed listening to her.

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The Butterfly Collector is a historical fiction is a tale about a missing baby, an illustration of a butterfly and a twisting mystery. I enjoyed this listening to this story.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

This book was a wonderfully-woven tale told in two timelines: one of a woman more interested in entomology than finding a husband, and jumping forward in time to a girl who receives a mysterious butterfly costume and an invite to a ball.

As story one gets into the young woman's discovery of a butterfly never documented prior, her close friend and maid has her baby son go missing. In the later story, the girl's invite to the ball leads her to investigating a journalist piece about the devious workings of a foundation that helps disgraced young mothers.

All in all, I thought it was a really well-written book that keeps you rooting for these characters, in finding justice and for women to get the credit they deserve!

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Two stories run side by side in this book. One is in distant history and the other is a little closer in history, but still a century away.
Theodora is a talented artist whose dream is to draw nature in scientific works like her neighbors the Scott sisters do in their father's books. But her family is not interested in her being an artist, they want her to marry rich. Her maid, who has recently given birth to a son, leaves the son with the babysitter while she and her husband are at work, but somehow every time she goes to see him, the baby is either sick or asleep, or the babysitter won't let him stay with the boy at all .
Fifty years later, Verity works as an assistant at a newspaper, even though she really wants to write articles like her grandfather did. But when her grandfather died, she was given no other opportunities than an assistant job, even if her articles were good and popular. And then she is invited to an arts ball and given a story that takes her into the world of a very cruel business.
Verity knows she's digging into something with dark consequences, but she never imagined how closely this long-ago story would touch her family.

An interesting historical story with both beautiful nature and cruel human nature. An interesting read!

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The Butterfly Collector is a dual timeline story set in 1868 Morpeth and 1922 Sydney. Theodora Breckenridge, is mourning the loss of her parents and brother at sea. She enjoys working on her art at the family's country estate, not looking for a husband in Sydney society like her sister wants her to do. She is a nature illustrator and is thrilled when she discovers a butterfly never seen in Australia. She is on the verge of making a name for herself when her maid, Clarrie's son goes missing. In 1920s Sydney, Verity Binks has just been let go from her reporting job. Women, who were welcomed to the workforce to fill the slots of men who had gone to war, are now being sent home to open jobs for those men to return to. Her boss loves her writing, so offers to purchase freelance stories from her, at least it will keep her in the business to a degree. When she is invited to a masquerade ball, she goes to find out why she was invited and gets a tip on a 50 year old mystery/crime. Can she solve it and get a break to force her boss to hire her back?

I've been putting off this review because I wasn't sure what to say. The writing is beautiful and lyrical. It is descriptive and tells a wonderful story, all good. The problem was, I was not drawn into the story at all. The storyline in the past was long and drawn out. The 1920s storyline was a bit more interesting. It moved quicker and I did enjoy Verity Binks. She was a great character, one who didn't give up and was gutsy. As she uncovered secrets about her family, she learned about the selling of babies under the guise of adoption. Both of the storylines blended well into one another, with both women being strong, independent women. I listened to this book and think I might have enjoyed it more had I read it. There were times I was a bit confused and had to go back and listen to sections again. Having said that, the narrator, Emily Barrett, does a nice job with the story. Overall, I just didn't get into this story the way I thought I would based on the blurb. If you enjoy historical fiction and dual timelines, I recommend you give it a try as there were many people who loved this book, and this is just my personal thoughts.

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I listened to this audiobook and greatly enjoyed it. The two different storylines were a bit confusing at times but overall, it was a well written story.

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I started reading this book totally blind. I didn't even check the reviews on Goodreads. I wanted to be surprised and I was, pleasantly! At first, I thought it was just a book about a woman wanting to make it big in the news world dominated by men, but it turned out to be something more. I love this and highly recommend it to those who like historical fiction. The author has a way with words and I loved the narrator too. She made the story more interesting.

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Thank you publishers and Netgalley for this audio arc in exchange for an honest review.

I found the blurb really interesting but couldn't get into it. For some reason it felt like a chore.

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I love dual timeline books, and this was no exception! What seems like two completely separate stories converges into one at the end. And bonus - the author tells what parts she made up and what actually happened.

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Unfortunately did not finish, I wasn’t engaged enough. I didn’t have anything I didn’t like about the story just didn’t love it. I’m not going to post a review because I think this is a matter of personal taste so I don’t want to write anything negative about it

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Tea Cooper's The Butterfly Collector is an amazingly interesting historical fiction about women's journalism and baby farming through the two perspectives of two Aussie women, 30 years apart. The 30 year difference from two different perspectives eventually intertwining makes for an amazing story about the strange history of baby farming. In the beginning, I thought this would have mostly be about naturalists discovering monarch butterflies showing up in Australia, but I was surprised when the story starting addressing the issue of baby farming in the countries history. I have read/heard about this subject before and the negative consequences or stories about it afterwards. The book's plot gradually introduces the topic, but the use of journalism and in-depth research done by the characters excited me about the book the most. Overall, I loved the audiobook and will definitely recommend to other readers later.

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The Butterfly Collector is a work of historical fiction. We meet Verity Binks in 1922 when she loses her job as a newspaper writer because the war is ended and a man will take over. There is a second timeline, in 1868, where we meet Theodora who desires to pursue her passion and Clarrie, Verity's grandmother and a maid. There is love in this story, as well as heartbreak. We learn about women being abused when becoming pregnant out of wedlock. There are secrets, and crimes and family mysteries. And butterflies thread the different storylines together. For the lover of historical fiction, and women's stories. Thank you @netgalley for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook.

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This is such an intriguing book. A dual timeline between 1868 and 1923. The book takes place in Australia and is about “baby farming” that took place in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
I really enjoyed this story; from the very beginning, it had my attention. It did start to slow toward the middle. I think with the amount of characters to keep track of plus it being a dual timeline, it got a bit confusing at times for me. Just about all characters have a connection to each other in one way or another, which I love; however, I did get it all tangled up a lot, so it occasionally got difficult to follow along. Although the characters and their stories were all so well written,
I really don’t understand the whole butterfly part of this book. It felt like a completely different and unrelated story from the rest of the book. It played a large part; it just didn’t seem to fit in.
I was listening to the audiobook, and I really enjoyed it. The narrator did an excellent job at making voice changes for each character. She also has a very nice voice that I enjoyed listening to.

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