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13 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exquisitely crafted story
This is a long but never boring book, written in the style of speech of the late Victorian era in Britain. Yet it doesn't feel old fashioned in any way. Ms Christensen manages her dialogue so smoothly and naturally that her characters feel like real people and not the usual cardboard cut-outs of so many historical and romance novels. These are friends you could be...
Published on 5 Jan 2012 by Book lover

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For fans of Thomas Hardy (not me)
Hmmm, I don't know how to rate this to be honest. On the one hand, I can see that the author has tried to create a novel that remains faithful to the time it is set in and to the contemporary authors of that time. The rights of a woman under the legal age of independence were pretty poor, I don't dispute that; furthermore, a good and virtuous reputation was one of the...
Published 10 months ago by Holly Golightly


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exquisitely crafted story, 5 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Of Moths and Butterflies (Kindle Edition)
This is a long but never boring book, written in the style of speech of the late Victorian era in Britain. Yet it doesn't feel old fashioned in any way. Ms Christensen manages her dialogue so smoothly and naturally that her characters feel like real people and not the usual cardboard cut-outs of so many historical and romance novels. These are friends you could be chatting with today (well mannered and eloquent friends that is!) The language, the descriptions and the elegance of phrase show what a wonderful command of English Ms Christensen displays. An utter delight to read. It felt a little uncertain at first but quite swiftly the characters began to round out; one was drawn into their lives, thoughts and feelings. I loved all the people in it, even the nasty characters...what would we do without our baddies!
It is a story that has atmosphere, meaning and depth, psychology and feeling, absolutely unputdownable and one that I will remember for a long time. It's such a delightful pleasure to enjoy a well written, well researched book like this - a brilliant debut novel. Give us more, Ms Christensen!

I bought the Kindle version but want the hardcover for my bookshelf, not least because of the beautiful little drawings between the chapters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkler, 15 Jan 2012
This review is from: Of Moths and Butterflies (Kindle Edition)
I finished reading `Of Moths and Butterflies' with the conviction that the author had sat the C19th down on a couch and exactingly consulted its psyche. There has clearly been a great deal of academic hard graft invested in this novel, but the writer wields her research with lightness and energy. The authorly voice sounds comfortable in its crinolines, but it's also smart, witty and lively. That sprightly touch is evident in the dialogues too. There's real speed and sparkle to a lot of the exchanges. Our hard-done-to heroine is no timorous whimperer, but rather a young woman with strong motivations and a spirited foot stamp. Imogen is flawed enough to be fallible, complex enough to be curious and sympathetic in her self-doubts. The satisfyingly twisty-turny plot thoroughly stretches and tests her. It's a thoughtful novel this, a thing of craft and intricate design, but it's also got a big loud heart and some lovely bright splashes of humour. Thumbs up to Ms Christensen for her wit and wisdom. I look forward to reading more from her.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st century Trollope, 2 Jan 2012
I abandoned the Trollope I was reading(something I NEVER do) in order to read 'OF Moths & Butterflies'.
Whenever I finish reading a Trollope I feel faintly disappointed that there is nom ore ! I had exactly the same feeling on finishing 'Of Moths & Butterflies'.
A wonderful book - so well written and with a good background knowledge of the time and social customs. But that knowledge was not intrusive. I look forward very much to the next book."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For fans of Thomas Hardy (not me), 16 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Of Moths and Butterflies (Kindle Edition)
Hmmm, I don't know how to rate this to be honest. On the one hand, I can see that the author has tried to create a novel that remains faithful to the time it is set in and to the contemporary authors of that time. The rights of a woman under the legal age of independence were pretty poor, I don't dispute that; furthermore, a good and virtuous reputation was one of the only 'assets' a girl could boast of in the late Victorian period.

However, I struggled with the central female character who is so beholden to these rules and principles. It very much reminded me of Tess of the D'Urbervilles with all the 'I am not worthy' bemoanings and figurative self-flagellation (you can see how much I detested that in the first place on my TOTD review here!)

Perhaps if I had appreciated Tess and her ilk more I would have loved this book the way many others obviously do, but as it is, I just couldn't get past a third of the novel. By the time Imogen and her suitors were faffing about who she was going to marry I'd lost interest in all of them and wanted to move on...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars should have been shorter!, 5 Sep 2013
By 
Robbo (Mirfield UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Of Moths and Butterflies (Kindle Edition)
The style of writing was quite readable but I feel that it would have been much more enjoyable by the use of serious editing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't finish, 20 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Of Moths and Butterflies (Kindle Edition)
reading this book, as I found it too boring and predictable. A blind person could see what was coming next in the plot. Just my opinion of course, but if you are looking for a story with a plot, forget this one.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thought-provoking Narrative, 21 Nov 2011
This review is from: Of Moths and Butterflies (Kindle Edition)
Of Moths and Butterflies is set in the early 1880s- the beginning of Gladstone's prime ministership, just before the Married Women's Property Act became law. At this point in history, anything a woman had inherited from her family automatically became that of her husband on marriage: enter our heroine, Imogen, an heiress with an unwanted legacy, a pack of salivating relatives and two highly eligible suitors. Christiansen deftly handles the twists and turns of a complicated plot and holds the reader's interest to the very end. Her handling of dialogue is assured: at times it is possible to imagine that this is an actual Victorian novel; the conversations between the male characters are especially well handled and reminiscent of Disraeli's Sybil, or the Two Nations. The main character, while not instantly likeable, nonetheless arouses the reader's compassion. Will she manage to make a life for herself, and what sort of life can be possible for a woman in such circumstances (and yet Christiansen certainly avoids the easy trap of demonising her male characters- except for one highly satisfying full-blown villain). I was particularly impressed by the fact that this is a true think-piece, generous-hearted and clear-eyed, and not a mere romp in costume as so many historical novels are.The author's philosophy seems to be "Tout comprendre rend très-indulgent". There is surely the makings of a television drama or stage production in this. I look forward to future novels by this author.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I disagree, 9 May 2012
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This review is from: Of Moths and Butterflies (Kindle Edition)
I had looked forward to reading this book with its 100 percent 5* reviews but there has been much in it to irritate. I am wondering if this is a translation from another language or if it was written by an English speaker who has never lived here. First annoyance - 'Back to top' at the end of every chapter (poor editing?); next the use of 'Great Days'(wot?) as an exclamation and the made up word 'unworth' where we would have used unworthy or not worth. I don't feel that Victorian girls were permitted to address their Grandmothers as 'Gran' either.
Sadly, I can't wait to finish this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Of Moths and Butterflies, 12 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Of Moths and Butterflies (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book, it is easy to get involved in the characters lives, the good and the bad ones, you get swept along with the story that keeps you wanting to turn the pages to find out what happens next. I think this would make an excellent 3 part period drama on the screen. Well done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise, 31 Aug 2013
By 
Gayle Beveridge (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Of Moths and Butterflies (Kindle Edition)
Of Moths and Butterflies is in essence an historical romance, and since I don't often read that genre, this book came as a pleasant surprise.

Our heroine, Imogen, is a young English girl trapped in a time when women have few rights. She is an orphan taken into care by an uncle who bequeaths her a fortune. Archer Hamilton, is a young English gentleman trapped in a time when marrying well was a financial necessity and doing one's duty to family was a strong and daunting expectation. Imogen and Archer are thrown together, both are haunted by the past, both are manipulated by family, and both must find a way to make a life for themselves.

This novel brings together not only Imogen and Archer, but several other strong characters. They interact in ways that make each others lives both better an at the same time more difficult. This tale has its fair share of misunderstandings, of secrets and of lives interwoven.

The novel goes beyond the romance, to adventure and intrigue.

A thoroughly enjoyable read; great entertainment. I look forward to reading more by this author.

I purchased the Kindle edition of this from Amazon.com
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Of Moths and Butterflies
Of Moths and Butterflies by V.R. Christensen
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