The UK and Australia, two countries on opposite sides of the globe, but then opposites attract and this is the case for Nicholas and Davey.Starting as a caterpillar, turning into a pupae and then emerging in a blaze of glory, of kaleidoscopic and radiant colour, butterflies go through many stages. The love and attraction between Nicholas and Davey develops in a mirrored image of the life of a butterfly.
Nicholas, son of a British Earl and very British to the core, but with a wry sense of humour and a beguiling smile is spending three months in Australia to search for a very rare blue butterfly. Davey, an all Aussie lad is expecting some stuck-up Earl's son and is his guide for the duration of his visit. Nicholas turns about to be nothing like he was expecting and finds himself attracted to the man immediately. Meeting Nicholas at the airport and picking him up off the floor after he trips and falls, Davey can't but help himself in realising that they are going to get along fine.
Nicholas is openly gay and has no problems with this, but sensing Davey's insecurities about the subject teases him gently, but never oversteps the mark. The banter between Nicholas and Davey is fantastic. Humorous, natural and thoroughly entertaining in itself, but also meaningful and with a depth of emotion behind the words. I could have listened to these guys all day. Davey is gay but doesn't know it, at least he has never slept with a man, but he can't stop adoring Nicholas and his smiles.
His only relationship was with a woman, Denise, when he was a young adult, whom he is still close friends with and godfather to her daughter finds himself second guessing and falling for the thousand beguiling smiles that Nicholas has. I had to laugh when Denise and Nicholas were talking about what title to call Nicholas and came up with Earling - wonderful! After all what do you call the youngest son of an Earl? Especially when you would have no clue in egalitarian Australia. I so have to visit this country.
Davey's first time with a man, was like a trembling butterfly, but safe in the arms of the more experienced Nicholas who treated him with gentleness, care and affection. After this their love blooms and heightens into an intense passion just like that of a butterfly. I could feel the tenderness and care Nicholas has for Davey, never pushing him too far, gentle and patient, who couldn't fall for the guy?
They find a waterhole which is a magical place and connected with Aborginal folklore. For Nicholas and Davey they had found their piece of paradise on earth. Nicholas has a secret which he keeps from Davey, but when he realises how much he is in love he has to share this with Davey. This was one of the most poignant and heart wrenching parts in the story for me. Yes, I had the tissues out!
Beautiful and descriptive, Julie took me on a literary journey through the Australian Outback. To magical and enchanting places, but getting there was an adventure. As Charlie says, "Maybe we want it too much. Maybe we have to not want to find it.
This for me was the beauty of the whole story, the most amazing things happen when you're not looking for them. I loved Charlie, a wise native to Australia who is rooted in Dreamtime folklore, gave the story the magical touch. I adored the way Julie wrote about this character, he is obvioulsy an indigenous Australian, but she never refers to the obvious or the obtuse, you just know from the inferences in her writing. The writing has a depth of empathy that makes you feel the characters, sharing their bit of paradise in the Australian Outback. I would like to leave you with my favourite quote from the book."Oh, he’s not old. He’s newly emerged. And the longest any butterfly has been known to live is eleven months. They know all about seizing the day. They have to!"CARPE DIEM!