Thursday, November 15, 2007

"The Sound of Butterflies"

Rachael King's debut novel The Sound of Butterflies, which was among the top three bestselling New Zealand fiction titles in her native country for 12 weeks when it was published in July 2006, was recently released in the U.S. by William Morrow.

King applied the Page 69 Test to her novel and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Sound of Butterflies is the last page of chapter three, so it has only a little over half a page of text. In it, we eavesdrop on a conversation between Captain Samuel Fale and Charles Winterstone, the father of the main female protagonist, Sophie Edgar. It isn’t an accurate slice of the whole novel, as it is a scene between two minor characters, although they both play their part as antagonists, so are important to the story. We are in Fale’s point of view, and he has chanced upon Sophie’s father in a restaurant while waiting for a friend. It is clear by now that Fale is in love with Sophie, a married woman, and meeting Winterstone has made him want Sophie all the more, although he is careful not to let on to Winterstone his feelings as he doesn’t want to compromise Sophie and her reputation.

This is a sub-plot in the novel really, which is about what happened to butterfly collector Thomas Edgar in the Amazon to render him mute, and Sophie’s effort to communicate with him. Captain Fale is only a hindrance in that there is a chance he will spill the secret to Sophie’s father and give him reason to disapprove of the marriage.

“But here is chance to do some good, perhaps. Surely if her father only knew about his son-in-law’s muteness, he would be able to help her. Perhaps he could arrange for some top quality care in some hospital, somewhere far away.”

Just far away enough for Fale to get his mitts into Sophie, perhaps. The chapter finishes with the thought that reveals to the reader what his intentions will become: “He should have liked this man as a father-in-law.”
Read an excerpt from The Sound of Butterflies, and learn more about the novel and its author at Rachael King's website and her blog.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue