The Butterfly Tree: An Extraordinary Saga of Seven Generations

We rated this book:

All the elements to make an engaging story spanning seven generations are present in Woody Woodburn’s debut novel The Butterfly Tree, but the writing is a bit too over the top for the book to be as engrossing as it could be.

Woodburn is more known as an essayist and memoirist–this is is his first novel, after all–and some of the fluffy writing that appears in essays to grab a reader’s attention quickly just don’t work in the novel form. The sweeping story of seven generations moves too quickly to feel rooted in any of the characters, and much of the dialogue is peppered with the kind of bumper-sticker wisdom that is more at home in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Woodburn is a frequent contributor to that series.

There’s no doubt that The Butterfly Tree is intended to be a wild romp through time with a message of kindness at its heart. But, it fell flat for me and left me wishing the writer had chosen to settle into one or two generations, rather than seven, to develop the characters he’d created and let the work breathe a little.

Reviewed By:

Author Woody Woodburn
Star Count 2/5
Format Trade
Page Count 390 pages
Publisher Barkingboxer Press
Publish Date 29-Feb-2024
ISBN 9783982280189 Buy this Book
Issue May 2024
Category Popular Fiction