An unforgettable story of two women linked by their roles in a tragedy at the end of the Victorian era. When Anna, the young woman she cared for as a child, anunces her intention to visit the elderly Maddie, Maddie recognises her last chance to unburden herself of a story that has gnawed at her for sixty years. For Maddie, rather like the butterfly cabinet she keeps safely under lock and key, has for too long guarded a secret: that of the day a four-year-old girl died at the big house where she worked as a nanny. Finally, Maddie kws, Anna is ready to hear what happened. As Maddie's mind drifts back through the years, so too is revealed the story of Charlotte's mother, Harriet Ormond. A proud, uncompromising woman, Harriet's great passion is collecting butterflies and pinning them under glass; motherhood comes easier to her than her role as mistress of her remote Irish estate. When her daughter dies, her community is quick to judge her, and Harriet will t stoop to defend herself. But her journals reveal a more complex truth.
Bernie McGill has pursued a varied career in the arts, as a theatre manager, and most recently as a playwright. Her short stories have been shortlisted for numerous awards, and in 2008 her story 'Sleepwalkers' won the Zoetrope All-Story Short Fiction Contest. THE BUTTERFLY CABINET is her first novel. Bernie lives in Portstewart, Nothern Ireland, with her family.