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The Night Butterflies by [Litchfield, Sara]
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Length: 222 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

It is always dark. Warmer than it should be. The sun is a dull glower of reproach, only sometimes visible through the fallout. A once-majestic university town is crumbled, ashen and divided. The Men have made their home the Facility, where they develop the medication to combat the radiation that would otherwise kill those left alive.

Another day at school for Teacher. Another morning of bullying and torment from a batch of doll-like triplets more violent and unbalanced by the day. They are the nightmare product of Project Eden, the operation devised by Leader for the survival of the community, seeded in the Mothers without their consent.

Teacher has hope. She has a secret. When it is uncovered by Jimmy-1, a triplet who might be different, what will it mean for his future and hers?


Not just another dystopian novel. New author Sara Litchfield explores what it means to be a child, a mother and a monster in a chilling world devoid of comfort.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 831 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Publisher: RIW Press (2 October 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00O5C46NG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,037,868 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining, Insightful, and Moving Tale 11 December 2014
By C. Hawthorne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is so much more than a worthwhile read that you might purchase to pass an evening or two. Sure, it's a fast paced story with a tantalizing plot and engaging characters, but its impact on the reader lingers. If you like a story that entertains, but also leaves you thinking about humanity (or its lack), society, love, family bonds, and so much more, then read this book. I read the first page and knew I'd found something special. This is as much a delight for the mind as for the heart.
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating 9 December 2014
By Paula A. Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't ordinarily read this genre but the title caught my attention and do did the beautiful cover. Sara drew me into her imaginary world easily and I had no trouble going back to it when I had to stop reading for whatever reason. Excellent story! Great job !
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind = blown! 27 December 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely loved it, one of the most original stories I have read in a long time! Beautifully written, finished it in 2 sittings!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An ambitious, chilling plunge into human emotions and morality 17 February 2015
By ViolettePen - Published on Amazon.com
Actual Rating: 3.5 / 5

Genetically engineered babies, mind-numbing medications, and an incinerator where rebels and children are burned alive - that's the post-apocalyptic Britain that readers will visit in Sara Litchfield's debut novel, The Night Butterflies. I already knew Sara from being one of the beta-readers for The Night Butterflies last year. So I was thrilled when the final printed version arrived in the mail so I could read it again.

One thing that the above synopsis doesn't reveal about The Night Butterflies is that it's told from five POVs: three adults (Teacher, and Jimmy-1's parents Karen and Nick), and two children (Jimmy-1, and Teacher's daughter Ellie). It's impossible to be more specific about each character without diving into too much backstory. What I can say, though, is that each character has a unique perspective on the story's events. Readers will see the entire scope play out and gain a chilling understanding of how everyone in this small, isolated community will be impacted. Also, under Litchfield's elegant yet visceral prose, the voices of each POV character are unique from one another. Jimmy-1's in particular is choppy and direct, reflecting his learning disability as well as glimmers of intelligence and empathy. Creating a quintet of distinct characters is an ambitious feat for a debut novel, yet Litchfield pulls it off beautifully.

Like any speculative fiction novel, dystopians need a solid world-building foundation so the story can hold up. Holy mama, does The Night Butterflies deliver on this. Take the totalitarian regime of The Hunger Games (minus the Games), plunk it in the post-nuclear landscape Cormac McCarthy's The Road (minus the cannibals), and add dashes of bio-engineering with twisted results. It's desolate, it's scary, and it's staggering. Fortunately, Litchfield doesn't overwhelm readers with her backstory. Instead, she drops hints of it throughout The Night Butterflies. Readers gradually learn about what happened in the past, how it led up to current times, and how the community functions (or rather, cowers) under a mad scientist's iron grip. So, everything makes sense despite the chilling nature of the "status quo," and you find yourself absorbed in its many layers.

Having read an early draft of The Night Butterflies, I can now compare what I remember from last year to the final version. It's amazing to see how much has changed, yet how much of it remained the same. For example, in the final copy, Litchfield allows certain POV characters who were originally mere observers to jump deeper into the conflict, and brings in new scenes that filled in previously gaps in the story. The world is better explained and more deeply fleshed out as a result. At the same time, much of what I loved about the original version - especially Jimmy-1's character arc - is still there.

Despite enjoying The Night Butterflies, I wasn't satisfied with its narrative style. It leans heavily on exposition; and as a reader who enjoys strong dialogue and character interactions, I often wished there was more of both elements and less thinking from each POV character. (Other reviewers didn't seem to mind this, so maybe it's just me.) I also thought that certain scenes and descriptions were rushed, which jarred the story's flow at times and made it difficult to picture what was happening. The epilogue in particular could have gone into more detail about how the town and the lives of the POV characters I'd grown to care about had changed since the climax.

Overall, though, The Night Butterflies is a plunge into the human soul that reader won't soon forget. It shows the risks that everyday people are willing to take to do what's right, and the questions they're willing to ask so they can understand the science and morals (or lack thereof) of their dilemma. And despite its bleak world and weighty subject matter, its message of hope and humanity will buoy your spirits like its namesake. I know not everyone is keen on reading self-published novel, but if you're willing to give one a chance, try this haunting tale by Sara Litchfield. The amount of depth it possesses and thought it provokes will challenge - and perhaps change - those perceptions.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once in a great while, a novel comes along that has an impact on you as a person... 12 December 2014
By Helena Hann-Basquiat - Published on Amazon.com
In a world saturated by Hunger Games clones, The Night Butterflies is a refreshing, intelligent, well written alternative to the pseudo-dystopian novels that currently fill the shelves. This is no teenage angsty love triangle story. The characters in this novel aren't complaining that their freedom or rights have been taken from them -- they are, instead, stripped of their very humanity. In a post-war world where the very air is poison, Men and Women are separated, as a mysterious Leader and his circle of Men seek to develop medicine to keep everyone alive, but also, that thing that is crucial for a species to continue -- healthy procreation.
This is where they have gone wrong -- as wrong as possible -- and the Mothers live in fear of their cruel, compassionless, inhumane children.
But suddenly, something begins to change for a couple of the characters, and a ray of hope begins to shine. Some of the children appear to be different, and some of the Mothers appear to be waking up from the drug induced stupors they usually stay in.

Lichfield uses multiple narrators, each with unique voices, even incorporating a sort of raw patois for one of the narrators, a young man who has not learned how to speak correctly. This was an inspired choice of storytelling method, giving the reader multiple points of view, and glimpses into the thoughts, fears, and motivations of each character.

One of my favourite novels of all time is Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, along with Wyndham's Midwich Cuckoos, Moore's V for Vendetta and Atwood's Handmaid's Tale. Sara Lichfield's The Night Butterflies handles the topic of degradation and fear, and a society that has forgotten how to be human with equal skill and maturity. The rediscovery of the joys of connection with other human beings that happens with her characters is just as powerful as, for instance, Guy Montag's awakening in Fahrenheit 451.

She is a truly gifted writer, and I will be adding this book to my list of books I read every year or so just to remind me why I read and why I write. To try -- to keep trying -- to create something as beautiful and inspiring as this.