In this novel for first- or second-year students of French, the reader follows Caroline, a French high-schooler looking forward to spending her summer on “Butterfly Island”, the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. For Caroline, this trip means leaving far behind problems she doesn’t want to deal with anymore. However, as Caroline spends the summer discovering this unique island in the French West Indies, she also discovers that she hasn’t escaped all problems. Little by little she learns that she is being followed by a stranger. Amidst the island beauty she seeks to unravel this mystery, turning her summer trip overseas into a voyage beyond her wildest dreams. Written with simple sentences in the present tense, this novel includes cultural footnotes, a glossary, and cognates to assist readers. LEVEL 1/LEVEL 2
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My French continues to improve little by little the more I read. This one has a complete glossary in the back, but I didn't need it. I think I would be about level 2 high school in reading and level 1 in speaking. The story is about a 17 year old girl who goes to visit her Aunt on her own. The set-up allow for tours and conversations about culture and geography and history comfortably. Throughout there is an odd mystery that makes the genre difficult to nail down. Is it a mystery? A psychological thriller? A ghost story? A story about a girl losing her mind? It stays interesting to the end, which I will not reveal. I love the book!
This book sucked me in immediately. It is engaging and easy to understand. Background: I took a semester of French in 1994 and am a Spanish and (rough) Italian speaker. I love how she wove in culture and authenticity seamlessly. It made me interested - enchanted even - where I've found I skim and skip the culture parts when I'm reading the story since it seems to take away from it, distracts. She integrates it perfectly and makes it part of the plot. I was delighted with a plot twist that I won't spoil for you, but I legitimately wondered if a character existed because he magically seemed to appear everywhere in a way that made me gasp. I wish my students spoke French so they could read this book!