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on April 22, 2012
What can I say that hasn't already been said by other reviewers? It touched my heart, made me cry, made me think, and left a lasting impression on me. I read it in one sitting...I had to. I just couldn't put it down. Every mother and every daughter should read this book. I'd like to thank the author for sharing her and her daughters stories. As a daughter with diabetes, raised by a single mother with whom I'm very close to, it affected me deeply, and for that I am grateful.
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on July 17, 2012
I found Nancy Stephan's book to be eloquently written from the heart and thoroughly appreciated the read. She is a gifted storyteller who poignantly shared her journey through some of her childhood struggles which involved losing her mother when she was only eight and being placed in foster care, becoming a mother herself at fifteen, and tending that child through uncontrolled diabetes that eventually claimed her life in early adulthood. I liked her writing style and found her introspection and honesty appealing. While not exactly a book with a happy ending, it is a testament to her love and strength that I found admirable. Definitely a recommended read.
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on August 7, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. I felt the author was so candid, without coming across as whining (even though she has good reason to complain and whine). It just helped me stay focused on what she was actually saying. I found her relationship with Nicole and her own mother, and adopted mother absolutely beautiful. I thought the author did a great job conveying emotions and experiences she had throughout her life and the grieving process.

I also loved that the author is a woman of faith and openly shared those feelings, dreams, and experiences. In a world that constantly seems to want to hide religion, I appreciated the author's pride in her faith.

The part I didn't like was that it was somewhat choppy. At the end, it seemed like one second, I was reading about the author's life, and then it would go back to her daughter. It just got a little hard to keep focus because I kept feeling like I occasionally missed something.
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on June 23, 2012
I was immediately captivated by this book and also could not put it down. I read it straight through. It was heartbreaking...and wonderful. The author writes like she is sitting right next to you in your kitchen, talking. All I can say is...just read it. Read it.
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on September 22, 2013
Myself, my Mom had passed away and this book made me think of how broken I was for a year after my Mother's death and I finally broke down one day before the first year of her passing and realized that she was not coming back. I would never see or hear her voice again in this life.
This memoir help me realize that I will see her, and it will be in the arms of our Heavenly Father. She also believed that the butterfly was a little bit of heaven sent down to us, to check to see how we are doing.
Thank you for sharing your story of that deep love that only God can give us in times that are testing our strength and will to call upon Our Father for the Love He has for us during all of the times in our lives.
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on March 11, 2013
I was so moved by Nancy Stephan's The Truth About Butterflies that when I finished reading it, I had to take some time to write the review.This is a gripping story of a young single mother whose only child, a daughter, Nicole is diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and ultimately succumbs to end-stage renal disease. It is a story that will linger long after the book is finished.
Well-written and well-crafted, Nancy starts the story with her own childhood challenges of her mother's death and her eventual placement in a foster home but she makes it clear in the first chapter that "this is Nicole's story" as well as their story together. Her ability to seamlessly weave in the backstory of her ethnic identity confusion, having been raised by a white mother and sent to live with a black family with present day challenges of dealing with Nicole's independent and risk-taking personality is impressive. The characters come alive on the page and I could instantly relate through her reflection and introspection to Nancy's angst and concern for her impulsive and free-spirited daughter. I became locked in time with this mother and daughter as they traversed so many challenges, including jail time for Nicole in the midst of her medical emergencies. As a health care provider, I was appalled at the insensitive treatment Nicole and Nancy received, especially at the end-of-life which added to the burden of losing a daughter at such a young age.
As is characteristic of all notable memoirs, Nancy invites us into a deeply painful experience with raw and gripping honesty then takes us through her eventual healing and transformation so that at the end, we feel satisfied and consoled. Above all, it is a beautiful love story between and mother and daughter. A stunning read worthy of widespread acclaim.
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on April 23, 2013
The Truth About Butterflies: A Memoir by Nancy Stephen

Extraordinarily breathtaking and riveting. Having just lost my dad 7 weeks ago and still grieving from my loss and for what I perceive to be the loss my mother (his wife of 65 years), feels, this book was a Godsend and a comfort. Nancy bravely shared her grief and helped me understand that the feelings I am having are OK. She helped me realize that when you have pure faith in the unbelievable power of the Lord and trust that he will take care of you, he surely will. It doesn't matter if we don't understand his timing. It is when we finally give up trying to be in control of our lives that he shows us the way.....or the way out.

By sharing some of the most treasured and private items between her and Nichole, I realize that sometimes we are enlightened or made to understand after the fact. And sometimes we never know what someone else holds precious until after they are gone.

Nancy wrote this book from her heart and in the actual spoken words that made up the true accounting of the life she and her daughter Nicole lived . She wrote in a rare beauty the language of love they spoke , even when no words were spoken and the lessons they taught each other just by being in each others life. Lessons sometimes only a mother and daughter can learn.

Excellent! A true literary treasure.
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on September 9, 2014
The story is so heavy, with so many heartwrenching issues, but for some reason it doesn't feel like it does them justice. And I'm not sure why I feel like that. Maybe because it is written in such a "matter of fact" tone? obviously it is her story and she can and should tell it her own way, but it didn't make me cry, and it really should have. That is the reason I gave it a 4 and not a 5. Definitely worth reading, just came across more as a case file in some ways, but the strength of this woman leaves me awestruck.
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on August 27, 2012
I lost my daughter-in-law to cancer at the age of 29. Reading "The Truth About Butterflies", matched so many of my own feelings during that journey with someone I loved so dearly. My father always said to me that "dr's would kill you if you let them" so my own thoughts about the medical profession were exactly the same as the author's. I also was moved by Ms. Stephan's candid description about her childhood, her own mother's death and being moved to a foster home at such a young age. Gripping true story that will break your heart but leave you applauding the human spirit.
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on June 15, 2013
This book does need some editing. The premise, and the story, are good ones - and the author showed strength in the life she led. The religious tones did not bother me. What did not set well with me was the way the story seemed to be heading, then suddenly some other direction was taken. I was reading about a very ill child (the author's daughter) and suddenly the story was about the racial make-up of the mother. There was some fitting in of the two story lines, but the way it fit was what created the conflict for me. A good editor could help with that, I believe. There are no happy endings here, so be prepared.
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