A Bowlful of Butterflies is the heart-warming story of three inseparable friends, Chandni, Amrit and Soma, who lead a content yet uneventful life in the sleepy town of Majhi Nagar. However, the arrival of Chandni’s handsome cousin, Jogi, brings to the surface hidden truths that will change their lives forever. Poignantly exploring Chandni’s attraction to her cousin, her jealousy when he falls in love with her best friend and her attempts to deal with her older brother’s sexuality, A Bowlful of Butterflies is a sensitive exploration of the painful transition from girlhood to womanhood.
First look at the title and the cover and you can feel at ease. A very unusual title of the book makes a readers nerves settle down. The cover image could have been done in a much better manner. The blurb talks about a girl and her teenage life and other issues. It's a decent blurb but reveals a bit too much for the readers liking. It could have been kept a bit under the wraps.
The story is about Chandni a.k.a Chandu and her life with her family and friends. She is in her teens and faces a lot of issues at home and in school. The arrival of Jogi in the scene makes it more difficult as friendship and other relationships goes for a toss. Then an incident in family changes the entire course of life and thinking of everyone and from there on it's a fight for survival for Chandu in this cruel world. Will she be able to hang on to friends and family? Where will her choices lead to? What will her family decide for her? What is her fate? This is what the story is all about.
It's a teenage drama with all kinds of spice from goof ups to love to friendship to emotional bonds to relationships to family to school to college everything is involved. There is a flavor of perfect teenage setup in the book with the help of young characters. The story is fun in parts and the narration is fluid and simple.
The downside of the book is friends and many other things prevalent in the first half go absolutely missing in the second half. Some things happen too quickly and all of a sudden. The second half could have been done in a much better manner. The end had to be bit more detailed.
Overall it's a mixed bag. The story highlights the various aspects of a girl's life from teenage to womanhood. At times it can be related to reality but at times readers can feel the disconnect. It's a roller coaster ride of a girl in her teens.
3 OUT OF 5