Monday, July 28, 2008

Cecilia Galante/THE PATRON SAINT OF BUTTERFLIES

This YA title follows two girls who have grown up in a religious commune and are now attempting to escape. Rebellious Honey wants to get out from under the oppression of the commune's leader, but Agnes has a much harder time leaving behind the only way of life she has ever known.

Agnes wants to become a saint. She tries hard to be perfect, even inflicting pain on herself and fasting in order to punish herself for misdeeds. But she's starting to have doubts about the commune's leader, who doesn't follow the same rules everyone else does and even has a TV and an expensive car.

Honey could care less about following the rules. She wants to escape from the commune into the real world that she's seen on her illegal TV set. The only thing she'll have a hard time leaving behind is her friend and father-figure, and his butterfly garden.

The topic of this story is fascinating, and the juxtaposition between the two girls balances out two extreme viewpoints. It's easy to decide that a religious commune is a terrible place to live--until you understand why Agnes likes living there.

The author grew up in a religious commune herself. You can read the FAQ on her website to hear a little bit more about how her experiences affected her and why she decided to write a novel instead of a biography.

4 comments:

moonrat said...

interesting. i've never seen anything two-sided about this.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl said...

It definitely doesn't try to paint the commune in a good light--it's clear that Agnes has been sort of brainwashed. All I meant was that the author does a good job of helping you understand why Agnes is reluctant to leave.

*Sorry, I accidentally posted this comment under my husband's blog name first.

blanche992 said...

Sorry - I read this book and loved it! Loved it! But I have to say - this isn't a review at all. You share no opinion, only a synopsis. I don't see how it could be helpful to anyone. It's just as easy to read the back of the book...