Why the booktrail?
Ms Montefiore transports us to Chile and Cornwall on a romantic epic journey full of secrets and a mysterious butterfly box from Peru
Story in a nutshell
When Federica’s parent separate, she moves from Chile to Cornwall. all she has left of the relationship with her father is a beautiful wooden box from Peru which contains a mysterious butterfly mosaic.
In Cornwall she goes to live with the rather eccentric Appleby family and it’s not long before she has fallen for the son of the family Sam. But he doesn’t notice the little girl until it’s too late.
Years later, Federica is married but she is desperate to know about her past an so she embarks on a painful journey of self-discovery. She will soon learn the true lesson of the mysterious butterfly box.
Place and setting
From the heat of Vina del Mar in Chile to the cliffs in Cornwall, this is the book with hidden secrets on both sides of the Atlantic. The move from one home to another is traumatic for the yougng girl and the move from one country, one culture to another is yet another.
The setting is Chile is stunning – it is Federicas’ home and you can feel her pain as she is uprooted from this magical landscape
Her mother often takes them to Caleta Abarca beach and to the small seaside village of Cachagua and to the grandparents house where there are tall palms and acacia trees. Federica loved the sea there and the ‘white powder coast’
the beaches make you want to walk on them yourself and such are Federica’s descriptions and emotions that you personally feel the wrench from her homeland as she leaves.
When I was smaller in Chile, Papa used to take me down to the beach or into Vina to eat palta sandwiches in the sunshine. We’d go and stay with my grandparents in Cachagua.
Cornwall – Federica’s new home and where she finds her new home strange and the sea different. With her emotions tied so closely to the beach and the sea, to come to Cornwall is seen through her acceptance of her new environment.
But this new environment is scary in more ways than one for it means changes and an escape from the past – the landscape of the past is a comfort
The sea was pale and smooth , gently caressing the shore with the rhythmic motion of the tide. It reminded her of Polperro although the sea was very different in Cornwall. There the waves came crashing into the land.
The thread that unites the family to both countries is the mysterious butterfly box from Peru. The history of the Inca’s and the empire is another site of exploration and it is a lovely additional side to an already epic story.
Fly away to the lush locations and a love story across the ages, plus a few family secrets of course. Santa Montefiore has done it again. Oh and do have a palta sandwich – Chilean style – they are absolutely yummy and help you get into the characters’ mindset.