Trapping the Butterfly

Young Adult

HISTORICAL:  “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1926:  If life had ever been anything other than this, Bethany couldn’t remember it. Between her perpetually sick aunt who never gets tired of criticizing her and her distant uncle she was being starved, poked and prodded into their image of a lady. Soon, she’ll be turning eighteen and will finally gain her inheritance and freedom. Unfortunately, those last few inches to independence are being obstructed by her uncle’s schemes, her rash involvement with Al Capone’s thugs and a cop (Paul) with a love for butterflies who might become everything to her….


An incredibly poignant story about a young girl exiting her cocoon and finding her strength! Beth’s transformation from a meek girl forced to endure tyranny into a daring young woman was beautiful to see. The backdrop of jazz music, the prohibition and gangsters is exciting enough for a reader to imagine an inviting, sensual film unfolding in from of them.


As in most novellas, the length of the story didn’t leave room for everything that needed to be said and shown. Here, the one slighted was Paul, who could almost be seen more as an idea than an actual character. Subsequently, the relationship between him and Beth felt like it happened in a dream, with the edges so blurry all that was clear were the words of love shared and the sense they were, indeed, kindred spirits.  Still, four enthusiastic stars!


Mimi Smith