The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante
For Agnes, the religious commune is her life. It’s all she has known and she loves it. Dedicating her life to God is the best possible thing to do and she will stop at nothing to make her body pure and sinless for sainthood by any measures necessary. That includes starving herself, sleeping on sharp rocks, and respecting Emmanuel for beating her almost to death when she sins. He is the most amazing man in the world and Agnes’ idol. Her best friend Honey also resides there, but she is very sinful and Agnes is encouraged to stay away from her.
Honey is very bitter. Who could blame her? Her mother abandoned her and left her at Mount Blessings, a stupid commune. She is forced to dedicate her life to God or more like Emmanuel and his stupid wife. She recognizes that this place isn't right and when Agnes' Grandmother comes for a visit Honey realizes this is the help she has been looking for to get out.
Through these two girls’ journeys, emotions are tampered with and faith is challenged. New identities are revealed and old ones reappear after many years.
Some of the books I read I can describe as fun/light reads. Cecilia's book was definitely not one of those reads. It was a powerful, intense exploration of two amazingly real characters' lives. I really cared about Agnes and Honey and hated their enemies with a loathing that shocked me.