“The Buttery Sister” was really a gem! The book was described as “a moving Gothic tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature.” That description was dead on. This was an unexpected mystery coupled with literature and suicide- perfect for me! Ruby fell in love with her college professor and when he ended the affair she attempted suicide. One year later, she was suddenly drawn back to the college when one girl attempted suicide and another was missing. What was so great about this was that Ruby didn’t set out to investigate the mystery, instead she got drawn into it. The ending was surprising and good, especially the very last page!
The novel took on a Hitchcock like plot when Ruby started seeing dead literary figures in strange places. Was this her imagination or was someone trying to drive her to madness? The conversations among all the characters were very realistic. Ruby and the other characters were likable, and I enjoyed following them. I liked the writing, which was clean and crisp and told the story perfectly. The progression of the story and the unraveling of the mystery seemed natural. I wasn’t totally convinced that women would be so ashamed that they had an affair with a professor that suicide would be an option. That seemed like something that would have made more sense in an earlier and more prudish time period. But that small detail did not hinder the enjoyability of this book. I thought Hansen told an excellent story, and I look forward to many more books from her!
I would highly recommend this book to someone looking for a light reading with a flair of mystery that intertwines literature.