Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: The Butterflies of Grand Canyon

By Sandy Amazeen Dec 17, 2009, 21:08 GMT

Book Review: The Butterflies of Grand Canyon

Set against the backdrop of the brooding and sensual canyon, a young woman\'s heart awakens and a decades-old mystery is solved When Jane Merkle arrives in the tiny town of Flagstaff, Arizona, with her much older husband on a summer day in 1951, she hasn\'t any idea that her life is about to change forever. After all, one of Jane\'s favorite sayings is "When in Rome, remember that ...more

Set in the 1950ís, twenty-five year old Jane Merkle accompanied by her much older husband Morris, left St. Louis to visit in-laws in Flagstaff where she discovers the joys of butterfly collecting and stumbles into the midst of an old murder mystery. Jane quickly becomes enchanted with the Canyon, especially when she makes a chance acquaintance with park ranger Euell Wigglesworth, a man closer to her in age and spirit then Morris.

After opening someone elseís mail on a whim, Jane works at being in a position to overhear the arranged rendezvous, a device Erhart frequently employs to move the story forward. Meanwhile, speculation continued over the bones rumored to be lying in an eccentricís garage. Could those be the remains of a resident who disappeared thirteen years ago? No one knew but the park director called in outside assistance to look into the matter that succeeds in bringing old secrets to light.

Erhartís love of the canyonlands and its inhabitants is obvious in this gentle, if yawningly slow-paced story of discovery that hints at romance and mystery without ever delivering. This will likely leave many readers disappointed as action is reduced to a frustrating crawl, subplots remain unresolved and the characters bend over backwards to avoid confrontation but not infidelity.

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