In Rachael King's The Sound of Butterflies, Thomas Edgar, an amateur naturalist; travels to the Amazon in search of a butterfly he isn't even sure exists. Things start out fine for Mr. Edgar and his three companions: George, Ernie, and John. Catching wonderful specimens, and ever on the look-out for what will be his prize catch - his Papilio Sophia. A yellow and black swallow-tailed butterfly.
In their travels of scientific exploration in the jungle's of Brazil, they meet Mr. Santos, a seemingly harmless man in the rubber business. Harmless, at first, that is. He takes them to his home in Manaus, and that, I think, is where things truly begin to unfold completely for Thomas.
This was such a wonderfully written book I hated to finish it. The chapters alternated between Thomas's time in the jungle, and Sophie's (his wife's) time in Richmond, England - taking place in 1904, Ms. King's lovely writing transports the reader there with her interesting, likeable - and some not so likeable characters. It was very interesting to see this story unfold along with Thomas's horrifying secrets and Sophie's struggle to cope with a man that resembled her husband, who had changed drastically by his return.
The story begins with Thomas's return - he is mute, and has alarming red welts on his body. Sophie tries her best to get Thomas to speak but has no luck after trying everything she can think of, which finally drives her mad enough to drag his crates full of specimens he'd collected while away, outside to burn them, which actually, finally does get a response out of Thomas. I was so glad for that, because I was beginning to go a little mad at his not speaking right along with Sophie. Due to the fact that in the chapters of his time Brazil, pieces are revealed, but nothing quite yet that was the cause to push Thomas over the edge. It was as if I were finding out with Sophie the darkest secrets he had been keeping. With an ending that was truly shocking - and heartbreaking, this book may prove haunting for days after reading it.