Estranged Siblings Reconnect in Jenny Hale’s ‘Butterfly Sisters’ [Excerpt]

Two women having picnic in forest by lake
A trip home helps a woman find out what she really wants in life. (Photo courtesy Canva)

In recent years, Jenny Hale has become one of our favorite writers. She consistently delivers heartfelt stories we readily recommend to everyone because they’re about family and small-town life. It’s no wonder her stories translate well into Hallmark Channel movies! Now, in her latest book, Butterfly Sisters, she tells a story about a woman who must return to her family’s cabin to face the loss of her beloved grandma, see her estranged sister, and reconnect with an old beau. We hope you enjoy this special excerpt from the book! —J&H

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Her phone pressed to her ear, Leigh strained to hear through the buzz of morning commuters who bustled into New York City’s Financial District every weekday and gathered at the café on the corner of Wall Street and Pearl, while they waited impatiently for their morning coffee. Her younger sister’s voice came through the end of her phone—happy, bouncy. “It’s Meredith! You’ve reached my voicemail, so I’m obviously off doing something incredible. Leave a message.”

She wedged the phone against her shoulder while she paid the cashier for her double-shot caramel latte on her way to work. Leigh had resorted to calling after both she and her mother had tried to text Meredith several times with no response, and apparently that wasn’t working either.

“Mom wants us to go to the lake house,” she said after the beep, feeling strangled when she uttered the words, knowing the resentful look that would show in her sister’s eyes when she heard the message. Meredith hadn’t given the family or the cabin any thought since she’d left home, something Leigh had never understood. “It’s… important. Text me or call me back.” She ended the call, guessing she’d have to leave a few messages with something more dramatic for Meredith to actually respond.

Her family had never been that close group of four who went to the movies together or laughed with each other over games of charades or family dinners. It was something Leigh had always longed for, but never seemed to be able to catch hold of.

Her sister hadn’t been home for any length of time in the last eight years, other than their father’s funeral, which had happened three years after Nan died, when she’d actually stayed a night, before claiming she needed to go. The last time Leigh and Meredith had been in the same place for more than twenty-four hours had been in high school, for Leigh’s graduation. When, a few weeks later, everyone had gathered in the driveway to see her off to college, Meredith hadn’t appeared with their mother, father, Nan, and their neighbors to wave and cheer as Leigh left home for four years at Northwestern University, her old Ford Escort filled to the brim with all her belongings. Leigh had seethed over it for the first hour of the trip, wondering what she’d ever done to make her sister hate her so much.

Leigh had always been frustrated with Meredith; her behavior put a strain on them. It had seemed as if Meredith would do anything to set herself apart from everyone in their family. And while her sister had appeared as though she’d had no direction her whole life, she had a kind of contempt for them all, as if they were criminals for having their lives together. All her sister had to do was apply herself, but she never did. She took odd jobs and lazily gathered the bare minimum to live on, spending nights on her friends’ sofas and living out of her car at times.

But even though her sister was a disaster, Leigh was always a little envious at the way she never had to stay in one place or have anything special to be happy—she’d gotten that from Nan. Meredith could pack a tent and a loaf of bread and leave for a week, coming back looking vibrant and rested. Leigh wished she could have just a little of her free spirit.

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Synopsis banner

“When emerging from its cocoon, a butterfly needs the struggle to push the fluid from its body into its wings. So essentially, without the struggle, it never flies.”

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Beach House comes a story about family bonds, second chances, and finding out who we really are. Butterfly Sisters is the perfect escape for fans of Susan Wiggs, RaeAnne Thayne, and Susan Mallery.

Jenny Hale's BUTTERFLY SISTERS
Harpeth Road Press

About to land her biggest deal yet, Leigh Henderson is on her game. She’s prepared for this, and nothing can get in her way. Except Rebecca Mayer, who’d sashayed in a few weeks ago with a former client list that would fill the entire hallway to Leigh’s office if she laid it out end to end. When her boss unexpectedly offers the deal to Rebecca and tells Leigh he’s letting her go, Leigh finds herself without a job.

But that’s the least of her worries. 

Her mother has some news that will change everything. She’s asked Leigh and her sister Meredith to meet her at the family cabin on Old Hickory Lake. Not only has Leigh been unable to pin her sister down in years, but going back to the cabin would mean dealing with the loss of her beloved grandmother and also chance running into her old flame Colton Harris, the one love she’s never been able to completely let go of.

Will confronting her grief, speaking to her estranged sister, and being forced to face the love she’d left behind help Leigh to learn who she really is? 

A heartwarming story that will have you laughing, crying, and rushing to those you hold dear. If you loved the movies based on Jenny’s books and are looking for more feel-good, small-town romance, look no further!

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Jenny Hale is a USA Today, Amazon, and international bestselling author of romantic contemporary fiction. Her books have sold worldwide, have been translated into multiple languages, and adapted for television. Her novels Coming Home for Christmas and Movie Guide Epiphany Award-winner Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses are Hallmark Channel original movies.

She was included in Oprah Magazine’s “19 Dreamy Summer Romances to Whisk You Away” and Southern Living’s “30 Christmas Novels to Start Reading Now.” Her stories are chock-full of feel-good romance and overflowing with warm settings, great friends, and family. Jenny is at work on her next novel, delighted to be bringing even more heartwarming stories to her readers.

When she isn’t writing, or heading up her romantic fiction imprint Harpeth Road, she can be found running around her hometown of Nashville with her husband, two boys, and their labradoodle, taking pictures—her favorite pastime.

For more information, visit ItsJennyHale.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on TwitterInstagramPinterestGoodreadsBookBub, and YouTube.

Jenny Hale
Jenny Hale
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BUTTERFLY SISTERS
By Jenny Hale
276 pp. Harpeth Road Press. $10.99

Purchase Butterfly Sisters from one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, or Kobo.

Butterfly Sisters is brought to you in association with Xpresso Book Tours.

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Enter to win one of five digital copies of Butterfly Sisters from Jenny Hale. Giveaway is not presented by Jathan & Heather, Jathan & Heather Books, Jadeworks Entertainment, or any of its subsidiaries.

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About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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