Monday, April 9, 2012
Butterfly’s Child. This page-turner picks up the story where Puccini’s opera leaves off, and follows Butterfly’s Child—here called “Benji” after his dad—on his journey to America with his long-awaited Papa-san and new mother, their life on an Illinois farm at the turn of the century, and what happens a few years later when a suffragist comes to town. We also find out how the story of Benji’s parents made it all the way to Puccini. I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t tell you any more about the plot, but suffice it to say that Ms. Davis-Gardner kept me guessing all the way to the end—and I’ve been obsessed with Madama Butterfly, and with speculating about how else the story might have turned out, for thirty years.