The Butterfly Effect (Paperback)

A Novel

By Rachel McKenny

Alcove Press, 9781643855295, 304pp.

Publication Date: December 8, 2020

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Sarah Haywood's The Cactus meets Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project in this heartwarming tale of an introvert, her lack of social conduct and empirical data-driven approach to people and relationships.

The monarch. The glasswing. The red admiral. These are the names of some of Greta Oto's closest friends. As an entomologist who specializes in butterflies, Greta far prefers the company of bugs to humans, with the exception of her twin brother, Danny, though they've recently had a falling out. So she lands a research gig in the rainforest and leaves it all behind.

But when Greta learns that Danny has suffered an aneurysm and is now hospitalized, she abandons her research and hurries home to the middle of nowhere America to be there for her brother. But there's only so much she can do, and unfortunately just like insects, humans don't stay cooped up in their hives either--they buzz about and... socialize. Coming home means confronting all that she left behind, including her lousy soon-to-be sister-in-law, her estranged mother, and her ex-boyfriend Brandon who has conveniently found a new non-lab-exclusive partner with shiny hair, perfect teeth, and can actually remember the names of the people she meets right away. Being that Brandon runs the only butterfly conservatory in town, and her dissertation is now in jeopardy, taking that job, being back home, it's all creating chaos of Greta's perfectly catalogued and compartmentalized world.

The Butterfly Effect is a warm, uplifting story about the behavior of bugs (and people), how they can be altered by high-pressure climates, confused by breakdowns in communication, and most importantly, how they can rehabilitate themselves and each other.

About the Author

Rachel Mans McKenny is a Midwestern writer and humorist, recently published in The New York Times, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Scary Mommy, McSweeney's, and other outlets. The Butterfly Effect is her first novel.