Title: Butterfly Lane
Author: T.L. Haddix
Series: Firefly Hollow #2
Genre: Women’s Fiction
When Zanny Franks Campbell walks in on her husband kissing another woman, she’s devastated but not surprised. She’s known something was wrong for a while but hasn’t had the courage to find out what. Now the ugly truth is coming out, and she isn’t sure she believes John’s protestations of innocence, no matter how much she wants to.
John hates himself for hurting Zanny. Even though the situation she walked in on wasn’t what it appeared to be, no matter how hard he tries to convince her he still wants to be married, she isn’t listening. She knows he hasn’t been fully honest with her about the intimate problems they’re facing, and until he is, the wounds between them will never heal.
With both of them hurting, finding middle ground where they can work things out turns into a struggle Zanny isn’t sure she’s able to fight. And unless John comes clean and tells her what he’s hiding, moving forward just isn’t an option. Until she believes he won’t hurt her again, she can’t take that risk.
Source: Review copy of Firefly Hollow Collection: Part 1 via NetGalley
There have been many books in this series that I’ve really enjoyed (six so far), and while there were still good parts in this story and the overall ending felt right, it’s one of my least favourites. Mostly because while the very beginning was sweet and the ending hit the right emotional notes, most of the drama in the rest of the story felt a touch manufactured and frequently overblown.
There were times when I was reading this book that I really disliked Zanny. John had his foolish moments too, but never, not once, does he leave Zanny doubting that he loves her. I had my sympathies with their first blow up, although it was obvious she was looking for a reason to distrust him and throw him out, but the way the entire family rallied around her without even asking John what happened made me realise how incredibly lucky she is.
But she doesn’t see it. Yes, she had a bad childhood and her father is awful, but there is so much good in her life that she seems to ignore. And because the Campbells are so amazing towards her, she treats John really badly at times – and by extension, her boys too. The second lot of drama really felt like she went too far and I’m afraid that it meant I never could like her again. While the later revelations about her past were interesting and emotional, I cared only because of how it affected other characters, rather than because of Zanny herself. I also became frequently frustrated about the communication issues. You’d think after what Owen and Sarah put themselves through in Firefly Hollow that they’d be a bit stronger on the “talk to each other” advice, but alas, not so much.
I did, however, love getting to see more of the Campbell clan. Owen remains his wonderful self and Emma and Ben were most intriguing. Since I started this series reading Eli and Noah’s stories, it was also really lovely to see them as children and see where Noah’s story truly begins.
So it’s not all bad, and it is an important piece of the longer running story that makes up this enjoyable series, but there was too much unnecessary drama and my feelings towards Zanny made this a more difficult read than I’d hoped. Despite that, I still like this series and can’t wait to read the next one.
Butterfly Lane is Out Now.
Visit T.L. Haddix for more details.
Also available as part of a three volume set.