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butterflies of grand canyonbuy this book

“The desert air can do funny things to a person, and soon this respectable woman falls in love with another man. It all feeels like an E. M. Forster novel, but set in the scenic American West.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

. . .

"In this deceptively gentle, wise novel, Margaret Erhart, who’s been compared to Faulkner and Austen, somehow channels Ngaio Marsh and Vladimir Nabokov as well. With collecting net and heart in hand, she and her characters snare some beautiful mysteries.”

Alan Weisman, author of
The World Without Us



The Butterflies of Grand Canyon

En route from St. Louis to visit her in-laws in Flagstaff, Arizona, young Jane Merkle meets two women botanists on the train. Their paths cross again after Jane, having lost her luggage and traded her fancy dresses for dungarees and a butterfly net, becomes enthralled with her new surroundings and ranger Euell Wigglesworth. As it turns out, Elzada Clover, one of the botanists, is in town to help investigate a 13-year-old murder, and as the mystery unfolds and dark secrets come to light, the canyon works its magic on Jane.

Erhart, a river and hiking guide, teases her readers about the sweet silliness of human affairs in the face of the magnitude of nature, and the cleverly plotted mystery becomes a lark of a vehicle for Erhart’s thoughtful prose. The novel is light and agreeable, touched with just the right amount of awe at the splendors of nature.

The Butterflies of Grand Canyon was a top ten finalist in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Butterflies of Grand Canyon

Margaret Erhart
Plume / 2009
$15 paper (352p)
ISBN 978-0-452-29549-0