“The power of a mother’s love can overcome everything…until secrets and betrayal threaten what means the most. In The Memory of Butterflies, Grace Greene weaves a captivating tale of loss, love, and forgiveness.”


A beautiful, heartfelt and poignant story of a mother’s unconditional love towards her daughter. A story about family, home, discovery; and to what extent we may go to protect those we cherish most. Anyone who is a parent can relate to what Hannah, the protagonist, goes through.

Hannah Cooper, a single mother to Ellen, is feeling the emptiness that is associated with Ellen taking off for college. She decides to renovate and reinstate their original family home, which was burnt-down in a fire, many-a-years ago. In the process, she visits her past and the albeit questionable choices she has made. She has hidden the truth and closed herself off to any other relation, barring her daughter.

Ellen’s perpetual questioning regarding her father starts to bother Hannah. The truth unfolds, told through Hannah’s viewpoint of the past and the present. Hannah’s only concern – Ellen shouldn’t repeat her mistakes from the past. Can she stop Ellen from doing so? If yes, what is the price that she must pay?

Life is a series of changes, some painful, but sometimes garnering greater beauty despite the pain.

This story displays the intricacies of life and love.

The Cooper women had a way of writing their own history, either to suit themselves or to save themselves and their loved ones from pain.

The author’s writing is passionate. The language flows easily, the settings and descriptions are vivid and there’s a lot of depth in it, which makes one develop an instant empathy for the characters.

We all make mistakes. If you’re living, then mistakes are guaranteed. It makes the successes that follow, all the sweeter.
Some of the “mistakes” are intentional – but does the original intent matter always?

Some of the mistakes made we can take back. Some we can’t. Or wouldn’t even if we could. Do you have any such?

PS – If I was in Hannah’s situation, I think I would have done exactly what she did.

My rating: 4/5.

I could predict the ending and wished, at times, there were fewer descriptive passages.


Reviewed by:

Ranjini Sen

Added 6th September 2017