Butterflies by Susanne Gervay reviewed by Jill Smith
Katherine is nearly eighteen and just wants to be like everyone else. She was severely burnt at age 3 and has undergone many operations to get her to where she is. Will she ever be able to wear her hair up? Should she put her head in a bag as one boy said in a cruel comment? No, Katherine goes on and strives to be better. Her Italian born mother and her sister are always there for her. Her nightmares still haunt her; will she always be the Beast not Beauty?
This book is so touching, Susanne Gervay really gets into the mind of a trauma victim and how to overcome adversity. It is a wonderful story and not just for young adults, sobering for anyone to see past the scars into the heart of beautiful people who suffer many operations just to look acceptable but also to function in this beautiful world.
The final page of the book is by Dr Hugh Martin, President of the Australian and New Zealand Burn Association and Head of the Burn Unit, The Children’s Hospital, Westmead, NSW. He sums up this book in his last paragraph: ‘Like tempering, steel, the process of passing through the fire helps make a person of exceptional quality. This book captures these subtleties for the reader, and gives a stunning insight.’