Hal, this is a beautifully written story that brings together tragedy and triumph. Your voice is full of reason and instills the loving presence of consciousness that cannot condemn, only open its arms to its creation in anticipation of the return. The use of butterflies as your archetype for that incredible metamorphoses is brilliant and full of truth.
The Butterfly Ball introduces readers to the world of Doris Baker Hartley and her family. She was confused by her daddy’s mental war injuries, and manipulated by her mother’s religion. That was not unusual back in the late 1940s and early 1950s, but the sexual attacked she experienced by a member of her family was not the kind of treatment that most young women of her time endured. She handled the life-changing experience the only way she knew how―she kept the attack a secret.
Doris was an avid Butterfly watcher. She spent hours sitting in her backyard talking to these amazing winged creatures that go where they pleased and pleased wherever they go. Her connection to these majestic insect messengers was deep. She felt their freedom and she wanted to experience that feeling all the time. That desire escalated after the attack. She was able to transform herself into something special with the help of the butterflies.
The Butterfly Ball is a metamorphic story told by a Pygmy Blue Butterfly named “Blue.” Blue chronicles Doris’s life and the lives of her family. They never knew her secret. Blue explains the story in the introduction “My story shows the butterfly side of being human, and the human side of being a butterfly, and the fact that you will continue to change in spite of yourself.”
Editor Kathleen Jacoby explains the work this way. “The Butterfly Ball is a book that will change your view of events and give new understanding of the metaphorical meaning butterflies reflect, opening your eyes to seeing the clues that give your life meaning. By opening to appreciation for diversity in others as well as ourselves, we create an experience that makes life a wonderful and worthwhile journey.
Jacoby goes on to say: “Author Hal Manogue has incorporated his poetic medium in descriptions that are memorable and instructive. His insights into life and the complexity each of us face are noteworthy. Most importantly, he shows in this work how in the end we are able to move beyond our own limitations and come into a dance with life as the butterflies do.”
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The Butterfly Ball: A Metamorphic Story
H. T. Manogue
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (1/13)
"The Butterfly Ball" by H. T. Manogue is written in a style of poetic prose to relate a fictional story to lead the reader on a metamorphic journey of transformation and change. H. T. Manogue uses the butterfly as a metaphor of life to stimulate creative thinking, to stretch the imagination, to prod curiosity, and to challenge the reader to pursue the adventure of self-discovery; to realize and appreciate the magical beauty and mystery of change that brings one into harmony and inner peace with the true self.
The story traces three generations of a family to illustrate how an individual caught up in the mental cage of fear from an environment of painful situations, malice and vindictiveness can find resolution and be transformed to experience freedom by adapting a new point of view through a life metamorphosis.
Manogue alerts the reader of the importance of recognizing the troubling signs of mental issues, and manic outbursts manifest by adolescents and teenagers, brought on by parental abuse, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and the impact of well-meaning judgmental religionists preaching a gospel of guilt and fear. He introduces the concept of how our perceptions impact and determine the meaning and purpose of our lives. Manogue’s writing is haunting, instructive, and inspiring. I appreciated the dozens of quotes from highly respected and recognized authors, philosophers, and world leaders that challenged the reader to move beyond their perceived limitations and to see the diversity and potential around them.
In "The Butterfly Ball," H. T. Manogue encompasses the metamorphic cycle and artistically creates word pictures of the butterfly side of being human and the human side of being a butterfly and creates a masterpiece of poetic prose around the theme of facing the realities of life and the consequences of life choices.
Am I a person dreaming that I’m a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming I’m a person? Our consciousness is part of the stream of consciousness that runs through all life. Butterflies are here to help you recognize that stream and the power you have to communicate with other life forms in that stream. All you need to do is believe you can.
This is the theme that runs through The Butterfly Ball, illustrated through three generations of a family of true survivors. Protagonist Doris Baker Hartley’s transformation from a world of cruelty to true freedom challenges the reader to examine events through a different point of view as we go through our own metamorphosis on our life’s journey.
JJ Murphy www.WriterByNature.com Giving Nature a Voice
The Butterfly Ball is a story of transformation, and Hal Manogue masterfully weaves events that bring about resolution to painful situations in one way or another. He shows the importance of our perception and how by the way we look at things we create our heaven or hell right here and now. This story does not sugar-coat life. It is filled with many of the dilemmas that are faced and shows how the way we handle them can support us in building meanignful lives or condemn us to a life lived in fear.
Manogue is a fabulous poet and has incorporated his poetic medium in descriptions that are memorable and instructive. His insights into live and the complexity each of us face are noteworthy. Most importantly, he shows in this work how in the end we are able to move beyond our own limitations and come into a dance with life as the butterflies do. The Butterfly Ball is a book that will change our view of events and give new understanding of the metaphorical meaning butterflies reflect, opening our eyes to seeing the clues that give our lives meaning. By opening to appreciation for the diversity of others as well as ourselves, we creat an experience that makes life a wonderful and worthwhile journey.
I highly recommend this book on many levels!
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