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The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran…
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The Island at the End of Everything (2017)

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

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» See also 2 mentions

The Island at the End of Everything is about leprosy and lepidoptery (the study of butterflies). In 1906, twelve year old Amihan lives on Culion Island in the Philippines. Culion is already home to many who suffer from leprosy, like Ami’s mother, but the government has plans to change how Culion is run. The government official who introduces these new rules is lepidopterist who cares about his butterflies than the lives he tearing apart.

This is a story of loss and learning, family, freedom and friendship. It’s heartbreaking and horrifying and beautiful. Not a lot of books make me cry.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Victoria Fox, who also read The Girl of Ink & Stars. Fox has a lovely way of reading, but the audiobook doesn’t include the author’s note at the end. Or the glossary. Fortunately the library had the ebook too -- I wanted to know how much of the story was based on fact.

I think of our visit to Mr Zamora, of his fear, and, most of all, of the butterflies.
“Why does he keep them like that?” I ask on the day after our meeting.
“To make himself feel powerful,” says Nanay. “To make himself feel clever.”
“And because they are beautiful, maybe?”
“Do you think it is right to trap a thing because you think it is beautiful? To kill it? I love butterflies too, you know.” Nanay swallows. “Your ama planted flowers to bring them to our house. Two summers I saw them, just before the rains. They’d cover the house like leaves, like…” She scrunches up her face, trying to find the right word. “Like petals -- orange and blue and white. They stayed for a whole week one year. It was enough to see them for a few days alive. Better than seeing them for ever but dead.”
( )
  Herenya | Apr 10, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kiran Millwood Hargraveprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fox, VictoriaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When the Phillipine government takes over Culion, an island for people with leprosy, Ami is put in an orphanage on another island, where she finds a friend willing to help her return before her mother dies.

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