Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Review: Bees In The Butterfly Garden

Author: Maureen Lang
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Publisher: Tyndale House
Series: The Gilded Legacy #1

Raised in an exclusive boarding school among Fifth Avenue's finest, Meg Davenport has all she's ever needed . . . but none of the things she's wanted most, like family, or dreams of a future that includes anything other than finding a suitable match. So when her distant father dies, she seizes the chance to throw etiquette aside and do as she pleases. Especially when she learns that John Davenport wasn't the wealthy businessman she thought, but one of the Gilded Age's most talented thieves. Poised to lead those loyal to Meg's father, Ian Maguire knows the last thing his mentor would have wanted is for his beloved daughter to follow in his footsteps. Yet Meg is determined, and her connections to one of New York's wealthiest families could help Ian pull off his biggest heist yet. But are they both in over their heads? And in trying to gain everything, will they end up losing it all?

This book is so gorgeous!! It is all just so picturesque. The butterflies are enchanting and I love the way that one is perched atop her hand while another rests on the actual word “butterfly.” Once you learn that Meg Davenport, the protagonist, loves to garden then the cover appears to be all the more beautiful. Plus, as a woman, I was admiring how beautiful her hair and skin are!! I so believe that I was made for that time period. I could have easily been a beautiful debutante with impeccable manners and etiquette, but for now we will leave that all up to Meg!

Our story starts with Meg Davenport who is a student at Madame Marisse’s which is an exclusive boarding school for only the privileged. Meg soon finds herself, within the opening pages, receiving a note that describes her father’s death and that everything is already being taken care of. Immediately the reader learns that Meg’s father has not been the more influential part of her life. In fact, she does not really remember him at all because she has rarely seen him growing up. Meg, now eighteen, has mixed emotions about his death and here is where my heart went out to her. Can you imagine? Being eighteen years old and growing up in a prestigious boarding school all your life without even knowing your own father? I cannot!! Meg is such a strong and independent woman and I absolutely loved her character.

Meg, being the curious character that I knew she was, decides that it is her duty to find out more about this man and why for all these years he had forsaken her as a daughter. I was nervous for Meg but I felt that she handled her situation well. This is the main reason that I encourage anyone to read this book. Here is a girl that has been alone most of her life and she is just so brave when faced with surmountable circumstances. She goes to her father’s home in the city, or what she believes is her father’s home, and learns that he is not at all the man that she thought he was. He was rich and very powerful, but only because he was a thief! Things just keep getting more and more heated in Meg’s life!

After many years of searching for a place to belong or at least feel safe and secure in knowing who she is and where she came from; I believe that Meg finally finds that. She honestly grows and changes alongside of the experiences that she has. I can even see some of her more rebellious side come out as she spends her summer with the wealthy Pemberton’s. Meg ventures after a taste of her father’s life and I do not blame Meg for doing so or even wondering what it feels like to be a thief. I was heartbroken at the fact that she felt like she need to be a part of the kind of work that her father did just to be close to him, and I still haven’t decided if I forgive her father or if I feel he made the right choice in leaving her out of his life and plans, even if he thought it was in her best interest. Every little girl deserves a father!

Maureen Lang, you have done your research! This time period, as well as its characters is represented quite well. The setting is everything that I hoped it would be. Not to mention the research Lang must have done in order to incorporate prominent girl’s boarding schools as well as thievery rings! What an odd mix to think about, but boy does she write a fantastic novel about both! I do not know much about either one of the above topics, but after reading this book I feel as if I also got a lesson in etiquette as well as thieves. I was lost in the words and the pages for hours on end. Maureen was kind enough to provide me with an autographed copy and I am eternally grateful. I am highly anticipating the next book in The Gilded Legacy Series! Thank you so much, Maureen.


  1. I love historical fiction and I (for some reason) I love boarding school settings; there's always something mysterious going on in boarding school settings...Great review!

  2. Oooh I'm loving the cover as well! This sounds like my kind of historical fiction--I'll definitely have to check it out!
    Great review! :)