Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Butterflies of Grand Canyon by Margaret Erhart

The Butterflies of Grand Canyon by Margaret Erhart is a book I purchased in October 2010 at Borders Bookstore for a dollar. I'd never heard of the book, nor the author before, but the cover artwork on this book, the book title, and its low price tag caught my attention. 

Plus, I'd just visited the Grand Canyon for the 1st time ever in September of 2010, a month prior to purchasing this novel, and I thought the Grand Canyon was breathtakingly beautiful. I also love butterflies and a good mystery, so The Butterflies of Grand Canyon seemed to be the perfect match for me.

Here's the book description of The Butterflies of Grand Canyon, I discovered on Amazon:
Set against the backdrop of the brooding and sensual canyon, a young woman's heart awakens and a decades-old mystery is solved

When Jane Merkle arrives in the tiny town of Flagstaff, Arizona, with her much older husband on a summer day in 1951, she hasn't any idea that her life is about to change forever. After all, one of Jane's favorite sayings is "When in Rome, remember that you're from St . Louis." But over a summer spent with her sister-in-law, Dotty, and Dotty's lepidopterist husband, Oliver, in a village perched on the rim of the Grand Canyon, Jane discovers her latent ability with a butterfly net and her attraction to a handsome young ranger. Meanwhile, an unidentified skeleton is found on the premises of one of the village's most cantankerous citizens. With the help-and hindrance-of a colorful cast of historical characters, including an eccentric botanist who moonlights as an amateur sleuth, the murder mystery that has haunted the town for years is solved.

In her latest novel, set in the quintessential landscape of the Southwest, Margaret Erhart weaves history, science, and an intimate knowledge of the human heart to tell a fast-paced tale. 

I really wanted to like The Butterflies of Grand Canyon, but I found this novel to be rather s-s-s-l-l-l-o-o-o-w-w-w, dull, and boring for the most part. 

Aside from being a slow novel overall, I did find Margaret Erhart's writing to be beautifully descriptive at times. Some of the scenes described made you feel like you were really there with characters.  

As for the characters themselves, well let's just say that I found most of them annoying.  

I also felt that the storyline didn't quite move in the direction I had anticipated it would... Meaning that I thought The Butterflies of Grand Canyon would be more of a mystery novel in the traditional sense, but instead this novel reads more like contemporary fiction with a mystery as a subplot.

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