Bottled Butterfly

a novel by Penny Lauer

“This gift of life is precious, and I chose early on not to be meek about living it, but to grab hold of all it offers up to me with joy and passion. I hope that at the end of my story you will understand. I want so much to be understood.” NELLIE

Bottled Butterfly explores the themes of family dynamics, social and religious culture, and significant life events that influence the intellectual and emotional development of children. Through young Nellie, it tackles the impact of geographical cultural beliefs, poverty, illiteracy, and the dysfunctions of family life on children and how those issues influence our behavior in adulthood. Set in the 1930’s and 1940’s in rural Ohio, this classic story clearly depicts the issues that confronted young women back then, and how they remain much the same in the twenty-first century. Nellie is a courageous young woman with deep inner strength, a big heart, and an insatiable longing to be something more than others envision for her. There is within her an unrest, a need to do something important with her life, and the gift of imagination that others around her do not have. There is a life tucked inside her mind that no one else can see, and it is her aspirations for her own daughter that push her into making that life a reality.

From the author…

I can’t begin to tell you what my readers’ emails and letters have meant to me.  Knowing that people across the country connected emotionally with Nellie and Grammy and Mama and learned life-long lessons because of what they read in my book has encouraged me far beyond what any of you might have imagined.  I’m sending out a big thank you to all of you who took the time to share your thoughts.  I wish I could include all of them here with would-be readers, but I can’t.  Just know how very much I’ve appreciated every single one.  They keep me writing.

Readers say…

“Through the telling of Nellie’s story, Penny Lauer offers a unique slice of the American experience while challenging the reader to reflect upon the universal themes of prejudice, sexism, strength and the pursuit of self-actualization.  A powerfully and beautifully written “simple story”.”

“I loved Bottled Butterfly…It is so realistic.  The book is absolutely beautiful.  It’s sad…it’s uplifting…it’s a wonderful story of courage and succeeding despite adversity.  I just can’t think of enough adjectives.

“I reluctantly turned the last page of Bottled Butterfly this morning at 2:30am!  You have written a memorable first novel…I became a fan of Nellie by page 45…I felt I knew her and her well developed family, warts and all, and to my delight the plot developed slowly.  I am recommending “BB” to my friends.”