Chosen by Rachel
Lepidopterist Thomas Edgar arrives home from a collecting expedition in the Amazon unable to speak
♥ “In 1904, the young lepidopterist Thomas Edgar arrives home from a collecting expedition in the Amazon. His wife Sophie is unprepared for his emaciated state and, his inability to speak. Sophie’s genteel life in Edwardian England contrasts starkly with the decadence of Brazil’s rubber boom.
“As Sophie wonders what has happened, the book takes us back to the Amazon and details Thomas’ search for a mysterious butterfly. Up the river, via the opulent city of Manaus, inhabitants feed their horses champagne and aspire to all things European. Here, Thomas’ extraordinary, and increasingly obsessed, journey carries him through the exotic and the erotic to some terrible truths.
“Back home, unable to break through Thomas’s silence, Sophie is forced to take measures to discover Thomas’ experiences. But as she searches through Thomas’s diaries and boxes of butterflies, she learns as much about herself as about her husband.
♥ “A sensory book in which every person, action and location is well captured. The Amazon is a fascinating setting, the perfect place for an exciting string of events, and as such I learnt a lot while being completely entertained.” – Rachel
♥ “Ever since a slightly terrifying book read at school as an 8 year old I have been slightly edgy around moths and even butterflies. The story ended with thousands of evil moths beating their wings against a door trying to reach the person inside. My kid overactive imagination (not improved by adulthood actually) went a step further – *obviously* the the moths beat down the door and ate the person. THIS BOOK BY RACHAEL KING DID NOT HELP. But all is forgiven as this is a beautiful book. I was there alongside the characters, feeling exhilarated and sweaty in the jungle and also then repressed and sad in the stuffiness of England. A great read.” – Suzy