The Butterfly Ball Synopsis
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 sexually 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.
The assault took place when she was 15. The years before the attack she learned to live with the family’s religious obsession, but the unthinkable act changed her perception of faith. Doris became another Doris after her dad’s foster brother force himself on her. Before she was assaulted, she was an A student and a gifted musician, but she was also a bit naive. She loved to dream and write about the future. Doris was an avid Butterfly watcher. She spent hours sitting in her backyard talking to these amazing winged creatures that went where they pleased and pleased wherever they went. 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.” He 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.”