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Butterfly: Book 1 (Orphans) [Kindle Edition]

V.C. Andrews
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $7.59
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

All she wanted was to be someone's little girl....
Fate made her a lonely orphan, yearning for the embrace of a real family and a loving home. But a golden chance at a new life may not be enough to escape the dark secrets of her past....

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

V.C. Andrews® has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of Flowers in the Attic, which was followed by four more Dollanganger family novels: Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than seventy novels in V.C. Andrews’s bestselling series, which have sold more than 106 million copies and have been translated into more than twenty-five foreign languages.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


I was alone in Mrs. McGuire's office, waiting to meet the couple who had asked to see me. Sitting "properly" on the straight-back chair next to Mrs. McGuire's desk was making my back ache but I knew from past experience that I had better be on my best behavior. Mrs. McGuire was the chief administrator of our orphanage and pounced on us if we slouched or did anything else "improper" in front of visitors.

"Posture, posture," she would cry out when she passed us in the cafeteria, and we all would snap to attention. Those who didn't obey her had to walk around with a book on their heads for hours, and if the book fell off, they would have to do it over again the next day.

"You children are orphans," she lectured to us, "looking for some nice people to come snatch you up and make you members of their families. You must be better than other children, children with parents and homes. You must be healthier, smarter, more polite, and most certainly more respectful. In short," she said in a voice that often turned shrill during her endless speeches, "you must become desirable. Why," she asked, sweeping her eyes over each and every one of us critically, her thin lips pursed, "would anyone want you to be their daughter or son?"

She was right. Who would ever want me? I thought. I was born prematurely. Some of the boys and girls here said I was stunted. Just yesterday, Donald Lawson called me the Dwarf.

"Even when you're in high school, you'll wear little-girl clothes," he taunted.

He strutted away with his head high, and I could tell it made him feel better to make me feel bad. My tears were like trophies for him, and the sight of them didn't make him feel sorry. Instead, they encouraged him.

"Even your tears are tiny," he sang as he walked down the hall. "Maybe we should call you Tiny Tears instead of the Dwarf."

The kids at the orphanage weren't the only ones who thought there was something wrong with me, though. Margaret Lester, who was the tallest girl in the orphanage, fourteen with legs that seemed to reach up to her shoulders, overheard the last couple I'd met talking about me and couldn't wait to tell me all the horrible things they had to say.

"The man said he thought you were adorable, but when they found out how old you were, they wondered why you were so small. She thought you might be sickly and then they decided to look at someone else," Margaret told me with a twisted smirk on her face.

No potential parents ever looked at her, so she was happy when one of us was rejected.

"I'm not sickly," I whispered in my own defense. "I haven't even had a cold all year."

I always spoke in a soft, low voice and then, when I was made to repeat something, I struggled to make my voice louder. Mrs. McGuire said I had to appear more self-assured.

"It's fine to be a little shy, Janet," she told me. "Goodness knows, most children today are too loud and obnoxious, but if you're too modest, people will pass you over. They'll think you're withdrawn, like a turtle more comfortable in his shell. You don't want that, do you?"

I shook my head but she continued her lecture.

"Then stand straight when you speak to people and look at them and not at the floor. And don't twist your fingers around each other like that. Get your shoulders back. You need all the height you can achieve."

When I had come to her office today, she had me sit in this chair and then paced in front of me, her high heels clicking like little hammers on the tile floor as she advised and directed me on how to behave once the Delorices arrived. That was their names, Sanford and Celine Delorice. Of course, I hadn't set eyes on them before. Mrs. McGuire told me, however, that they had seen me a number of times. That came as a surprise. A number of times? I wondered when, and if that was true, why had I never seen them?

"They know a great deal about you, Janet, and still they are interested. This is your best opportunity yet. Do you understand?" she asked, pausing to look at me. "Straighten up," she snapped.

I did so quickly.

"Yes, Mrs. McGuire," I said.

"What?" She put her hand behind her ear and leaned toward me. "Did you say something, Janet?"

"Yes, Mrs. McGuire."

"Yes what?" she demanded, standing back, her hands on her hips.

"Yes, I understand this is my best opportunity, Mrs. McGuire."

"Good, good. Keep your voice strong and clear. Speak only when you're spoken to, and smile as much as you can. Don't spread your legs too far apart. That's it. Let me see your hands," she demanded, reaching out to seize them in her own long, bony fingers.

She turned my hands over so roughly my wrists stung.

"Good," she said. "You do take good care of yourself, Janet. I think that's a big plus for you. Some of our children, as you know, think they are allergic to bathing."

She glanced at the clock.

"They should be arriving soon. I'm going out front to greet them. Wait here and when we come through the door, stand up to greet us. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Mrs. McGuire." Her hand went behind her ear again. I cleared my throat and tried again. "Yes, Mrs. McGuire."

She shook her head and looked very sad, her eyes full of doubt.

"This is your big chance, your best chance, Janet. Maybe, your last chance," she muttered and left the office.

Now I sat gazing at the bookcase, the pictures on her desk, the letters in frames congratulating her on her performance as an administrator in our upstate New York child welfare agency. Bored with the things decorating Mrs. McGuire's office, I turned around in my chair to stare out the windows. It was a sunny spring day. I sighed as I looked out at the trees, their shiny green leaves and budding blossoms calling to me. Everything was growing like weeds because of the heavy spring rain, and I could tell Philip, the groundskeeper, wasn't very happy to be mowing the endless lawns so early in the season. His face was screwed up in a scowl and I could just imagine him grumbling about the grass coming up so fast this year, you could watch it grow. For a moment I drifted away in the monotonous sound of Philip's lawnmower and the dazzling sunlight streaming in through the windows. I forgot I was in Mrs. McGuire's office, forgot I was slouching with my eyes closed.

I tried to remember my real mother, but my earliest memories are of being in an orphanage. I was in one other beside this one, then I got transferred here when I was nearly seven. I'm almost thirteen now, but even I would admit that I look no more than nine, maybe ten. Because I couldn't remember my real mother, Tommy Turner said I was probably one of those babies that doctors make in a laboratory.

"I bet you were born in a test tube and that's why you're so small. Something went wrong with the experiment," he'd said as we left the dining hall last night. The other kids all thought he was very clever and laughed at his joke. Laughed at me.

"Janet's mother and father were test tubes," they taunted.

"No," Tommy said. "Her father was a syringe and her mother was a test tube."

"Who named her Janet then?" Margaret asked doubtfully.

Tommy had to think.

"That was the name of her lab technician, Janet Taylor, so they gave her that name," he answered, and from the look on their faces, I could tell the other kids believed him.

Last night, like every night, I had wished with all my heart that I knew something about my past, some fact, a name, anything that I could say to Tommy and the others to prove that once upon a time I did have a real Mommy and Daddy. I wasn't a dwarf or a test tube baby, I was...well, I was like a butterfly -- destined to be beautiful and soar high above the earth, high above troubles and doubts, high above nasty little kids who made fun of other people just because they were smaller and weaker.

It's just that I hadn't burst from my

Product Details

  • File Size: 1850 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st edition (February 8, 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004DI7TEA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,160 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Butterfly February 18, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
By: V.C. Andrews
An incredible orphan story that you don't want to put down.

Butterfly is the first of the fictional mini series Orphans. It is about a little girl named Janet who has lived in an orphanage her whole life. She is smaller than everyone and she is made fun of. Then she is adopted by two great parents. Her mother is in a wheelchair because she was in a car accident her father owns a glass company. Her mother's dream for Janet is that she becomes a prima ballerina. Janet has to go through intense training and is expected to do well for her first time doing ballet. She tries hard because her mother is watching. Janet believes that if she does not do well her mother will not want her. Janet does very well for her first time ever. She does well in school and makes friends but she loses them because her mother won't let her do anything with them. She thinks it will effect her ballet. Her father loves how she is making her mother so happy by being a good ballerina. Her father planned a party for Janet and her mother was very upset because she wanted Janet to practice even more. After practicing and practicing she is ready for her recital. The girl next to Janet ran into her and they fell. Her mother told her that she was embarrassed and wanted to leave. That was the first time she met her grandparents and they weren't happy. Now she had to work even harder to keep her parents. There were tryouts for this ballet summer camp that her mother and she wanted her to go to.
It was a great book. You have to read it to find out the end. I can't wait to read the next books. V.C. Andrews is a wonderful and exciting writer. Once I started to read the book I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this book for a little bit of an older audience. I believe that this should be for the ages of eleven and older. I give this book a five out of five rating. *****
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you're looking for a quick read and something not too serious you might like this book. However, Butterfly seems to be a rewrite of many other V.C. Andrews books. For starters, there are too many stereotyped characters: the snobby grandmother, the wild uncle, and the cruel kids. Excuse me, but I've had much worse problems than Butterfly did and nobody ever picked on me like that. Kids are not really as cruel as adults imagine them to be. Mrs. Delorice seems in many ways to remind me of Kimmy from "Heaven" (sorry if I got the name wrong). Also, Janet never really seems to love dancing as the back cover suggests. It seems like she is just doing it to please her mother, not because she wants to. If you want to read a good V.C. Andrews book I would recommend Heaven. Unlike Janet, Heaven is a strong character who faces poverty, abuse, and criticism, but grows into a beautiful woman who I can not help but admire.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not the best but good May 9, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a high school student at Butler Tech I like books that keep my attention I found this in the book Butterfly by V.C. Andrews. There is everything in this book from a little girl getting adapted to her learning to be the best dancer ever- at least that's what her new mother wants her to be. She faces complications like exhaustion and sexual harassment.

This Book begins with a young girl who wants to be part of a family so bad she can taste it. She meets with a lot of potential parents and none of them were interested, but one day two odd very nice people had a meeting with her and chose to make her there daughter. They treat her like there own they buy her all new clothes, dance shoes, and a tutu. She had everything she ever wanted and new mommy and daddy and new stuff to go with it, she even had one of the top dance teachers in the world. All the nice things she got also went along with exhaustion and heart ache.

Some things that I liked in this book are the Spence if Janet would fail her new mother by not being the best dancer she could be. I didn't like how crazy her new mother was she was obsessed with dance and being the best. I thought that her new father would stand up for her against his wife but he never would. I liked the relationship that Janet and her new father developed I think that he truly cared about Janet and didn't just want her because her new mother wanted her to finish what she had started.

I recommend this book to a teen age girl it really has nothing in it the book would attract to guys. I think that young teen girls would like this book because it shows some struggles that not everyone faces when they are teenager.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Life Changes September 28, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Janet is an orphan girl who has regular ups and downs in life but has a life changing one when she is adopted. Her new foster parents, Celine and Sanford have a beautiful home and life. Sanford owns a glass factory and Celine was a ballerina with her own personal studio in her house. Celine pushes Janet to be a ballerina just like she was before Sanford got in an accident and put Celine in a wheelchair. Celine gets Janet a dance instructor and she gets all the stuff she needs for school and all the stuff she needs to be a ballerina. Celine makes Janet go on a diet and puts Janet being a ballerina first. Janet has no social life except school and Celine even thinks that Janet should get a tutor. Read the book and you can find out the sad ending.

I liked this book because the character's lives told so much about them. Their characteristics gave me a visual picture that was great. The scenery and characters just came to life in my head and it made me feel like I was watching a movie in my mind. Another thing I liked about this book is the deep feelings and that made me feel excited and sad and lonely like the girl in my book.

I would recommend Butterfly to people who like stories that start with happy beginnings and sad endings. The book Butterfly is great and the whole series is too. The rest of the books in the series are: Raven, Brooke, Crystal, and the conclusion, runaways.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed the book very much it was to short
To short of a book I enjoyed it very much would of like to see what happened to Janet and what she became
Published 27 days ago by Amy
5.0 out of 5 stars An OK Story
It was ok but out of my historical fiction realm.
Published 1 month ago by Jbee
5.0 out of 5 stars Butterfly
Thought it was quite good too short though
Had me intreged through out the book another great novel by vc andrews
Published 2 months ago by cathy lawrence
4.0 out of 5 stars Short
Decent book, but could have been longer and more complete. Ending happens too abruptly, leaving room for more story to be told.
Published 7 months ago by R. Waddell
2.0 out of 5 stars Again...
I wish that they dropped the price of these books. I purchase them mainly used or get them for free at my store's used book bin. Read more
Published 7 months ago by avatar136
4.0 out of 5 stars Butterfly
I like this book it was very easy to read. Looking forward to the rest of the series thank you
Published 8 months ago by Alison Staave-Fischer
3.0 out of 5 stars Dance, puppet, dance
When Celine Delorice set eyes on the diminutive twelve-year-old Janet she had to have her. It was goodbye orphanage, hello ballet hell! Read more
Published on April 27, 2012 by ReasonableGoatPerson
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh...
"Butterfly" by V. C. Andrews is a decent book about an orphan girl who gets adopted by a rich ex-dancer and her husband. This book is just like every other V. C. Read more
Published on November 13, 2011 by Moller NEHI
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmm.
On its own - as a novel geared for an younger audience and having an interesting story - this book isn't a bad read. However, as part of the VCA collection, it is unacceptable. Mr. Read more
Published on September 24, 2009 by M
5.0 out of 5 stars A very tragic but also very good book.
I love all Virginia Andrews books, she writes so good so I can feel the sadness and happines inside me when I read a book from her and this one is tragic but also has some good... Read more
Published on August 29, 2009 by Eva Pålsson
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More About the Author

One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of her spellbinding classic Flowers in the Attic. That blockbuster novel began her renowned Dollanganger family saga, which includes Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than fifty novels in V.C. Andrews' bestselling series. The thrilling new series featuring the March family continues with Scattered Leaves, forthcoming from Pocket Books. V.C. Andrews' novels have sold more than one hundred million copies and have been translated into sixteen foreign languages.

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