What writer Benjamin Constable needs is a real-life adventure wilder than his rampant imagination. And who better to shake up his comfortable Englishman-in-Paris routine than the enigmatic Tomomi “Butterfly” Ishikawa, who has just sent a cryptic suicide note?
She’s planted a slew of clues—in the pages of her journal, on the hard drive of her computer, tucked away in public places, under flowerpots, and behind statues. Heartbroken, confused, and accompanied by an imaginary cat, Ben embarks upon a scavenger hunt leading to charming and unexpected spaces, from the hidden alleys of Paris to the cobblestone streets of New York City.
But Butterfly’s posthumous messages are surprisingly well informed for the words of a dead person, and they’re full of confessions of a past darkened by insanity, betrayal, and murder. The treasures Ben is unearthing are installments of a gruesome memoir. Now he must draw a clear line between the real and surreal if he is to save himself, Butterfly, and what remains of their crazy and amazing friendship.
ABOUT THE BOOK :
SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
Benjamin Constable was born in Bristol and grew up mostly in Derby. He lives in Paris where he writes fiction and teaches English. Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa is his first novel.
THE BOOKISH DAME REVIEWS :
This is an odd little book. One of those that starts out feeling contrived and suddenly sinks its teeth in you and won't let go. It simply "grows on you." I confess I didn't like it to begin with, but the more I decided to give it a chance, the more I liked it.
The author has a way of causing his characters to become endearing as you read the quandary of Ben to find Butterfly's clues to her mysterious self and the "task" she's set him. Ben is immediately captivating. He's the proverbial innocent boy-next-door who needs someone to shake up his life; and, Butterfly seems the perfect, quirky girl to do just that.
What I also really loved about the book was the details about Paris...some odd little tidbits. And I liked the glimpses into the computer and journal life of Butterfly as she led Ben on and left her "clues." New York looked pretty awesome in this author's eyes, as well!
This isn't a book for everyone. I'd say it's rather a quest into something unusual and a taste of something a little sweet 'n sour off the shelves. I loved it, but it may not be for everyone's tastes.
One of those books you have to sit back and let take you on a serendipitous trip...
4 stars Deborah/TheBookishDame