Book Review – The Fallen Stones by Diana Marcum

First published, 2022

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and a half

A travelogue about a butterfly farm in Belize, Central America, and its relationship to a butterfly attraction in the UK and parts beyond.

I found the stillness and beauty in the narrative very evocative. There’s just something about butterflies that encourages a sense of calm and wonder.

I did think, right in the beginning, that the author and her husband had better be divorced by the end of the book:

“I despise men who try to control women with their little fits and jealousies.
“‘What’s wrong with you? Don’t try to tell me what I can and cannot do!’ I screamed, no longer envying the tempestuous types.
“‘Maybe you should go find a Diego, a Mikhail, a
Pierre who likes to daaaaaaance!’ he bellowed, doing some odd imitation of a cha-cha-cha. ‘Maybe you’d be happier without me Maybe we shouldn’t be together.’
“I didn’t think I was the histrionic type, but apparently I am. I started crying.
“‘Leave me alone. Don’t follow me,’ I hissed and ran down the beach to our sad little shack that he’d booked because he only looks at the photos and doesn’t read 227 comments.”
5% in, Chapter One, The Very Bad Vacation, The Fallen Stones by Diana Marcum

A beautifully captured scene of passive aggressive argument-making. Anyway, the need for calm and giving becomes apparent and the author travels to the butterfly sanctuary in Central America and learns all she can about the flying lovelies.

Unfortunately, and I don’t know why those who are unsure don’t check Debretts (, there are a couple of occasions when the author refers to Dame Miriam Rothschild as “Dame Rothschild”. I’m sure there are people out there who think that’s, if not correct, then, not a big deal.

It’s a huge deal and it irritated me no end.

The general rule is: it’s Lady Surname, Dame First Name. If you called Maggie Smith, “Dame Maggie” that would be accurate, though she’d probably think you were impertinent. If you called her “Dame Smith”, she’d think you were a philistine. I’m basing these opinions on interviews from across the years, I don’t know her – more’s the pity because at least I know how to address her.

You’d be quite right in thinking this should have been a minor irritant at best, but it haunted me throughout the reading. I was just getting over it, when the author wrote “Dame Rothschild” a second time and I blinked quite rapidly for a good two minutes.