I first discovered Denise Hildreth when I picked up and read "Savannah from Savannah" and I was hooked. That southern flavor permeated the pages, and I adored the quirky family she had created.
Denise gave me three wonderful Savannah novels.
So I was a little disappointed when I found out "Flies on the Butter" was a departure from the beloved characters I had grown to love. But, as Denise herself says, "...sister needed to know that she could write about something other than crazy people from the South."
Well, sister can know for sure...she can write, powerfully write.
"Flies on the Butter" is the story of Rose Fletcher, both who she once was and who she is today, and how the two finally merge into the person she was meant to become.
The story bounces between present day and Rose's memories of her childhood growing up in the South. A stark contrast is created immediately between the two, and it is obvious that Rose is running from the girl she once was, creating a new and improved Rose that is sleeker, sharper, and able to keep her emotions under tight reign.
As the novel unfolds, we learn slowly (isn't that how everything is done in the South?!?) just why Rose feels this need to be so different, and why anything reminiscent of her childhood sends her running the opposite direction.
You can sense foreshadowing of events to come...like a spectre of hope tinged with foreboding...And I love it. It kept me reading long past lights out, and longing for more of Rose's memories. How sweet to picture her wrapping her arm around her granddaddy's head and rubbing that soft spot on his ear, falling asleep as he rocked her on his lap on the porch swing...but Denise writes it so much better than I do!
There's a sense of something highly spiritual (the world would describe it as mystical) going on as well...divine encounters with strangers that leave glory-bumps on your arms and a longing for God to love you like He obviously loves Rose.
Can you tell I drank up this novel like a parched soul on a hot, dry day?? I do believe this is a "read once a year" novel for me...when I need to be reminded of God's love for me and His divine plan includes where I came from as well as where I'm going?
I cannot recommend "Flies on the Butter" any more highly...get this book. Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea, sit on the porch swing, and enjoy Rose's journey...it will make your journey so much more fulfilling....