Frozen Butterflies Is A Must Read For Inspiring Women
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Law, music, and psychology walk into a bar…No? Then you should continue reading.
I received an email from a close friend bringing the book “Frozen Butterflies” by Simona Grossi to my attention. After reading the brief author bio in the email I immediately understood why she had chosen to forward the note to me. My girlfriend and I had recently had a conversation over coffee about daring to step out of “The Box” – the space with hard limitations that we plant ourselves in or unwittingly allow others to place us in, professionally or personally. The author of the books is a lawyer, a law professor, an author, and wait for it…. a classical pianist. Come again?
Simona Grossi represents one of the most clear cut examples of a woman not confined by The Box, and instead choosing to not let go of the parts of herself that hold the most meaning…I already loved it. I recently had the chance to speak candidly with the author and gained unfettered insight into her inspiration for writing.
“Frozen Butterflies” is one of the most original stories of fiction that I have read. The book centers on a psychological journey of a woman in search of herself. Susan Blanc, the protagonist, is a psychology professor grappling with insomnia and unsuccessful attempts in improving her own mental health and personal growth. Similarly to Susan, the author was experiencing insomnia during the time she was writing the book. The story was born from the wandering of the mind and exploration of the stream of consciousness during those sleepless nights. Simona explains that she began writing the story when she realized that there was a “door that opens for me at night when everyone else falls asleep.”
When asked about the ties to psychological well being that are explored in the book, she candidly opens up about her close relationship with her sister, and her sister’s management of bipolar disorder. She remarks, “My attempt with the story was to enter and explore the world of mental health and express what I see and give a message of hope.” She continues and shares that “the art and the beauty that can manifest in the conditions of the mind” captivate her.
I asked her about a specific scene in the book where Susan struggles to scream when she is directly asked to. “There are various sounds in the book. I try to write in a way that’s powerful, I think to communicate strong emotions you have to have sharp arrows.” She adds, “I like style that is clear and straightforward. As a pianist I look for that. The sounds in the book come from that. And more deeply, I think we suppress our past, our pain, and we don’t live it. To the point where when someone asks you to let it out, we don’t always know how, because often our mind is trapped.” She continues, “You’re not able to express your pain to someone because it’s just too painful. That was my attempt to bring out what she had inside of her, we often don’t know why we have this pain, and we’ve just learned to live with it.” She ends by adding that if we take the time to explore ourselves, our journey “may help us understand the source of our pain.”
Frozen Butterflies is entertaining, insightful, beautiful, dark, and filled with unexpected turns. I am a fan of Simona. A fan of her writing, her creativity, and of her tenacity. By creating a life where she has been able to incorporate her interests of law, music, writing, and mental health, Simona Grossi has provided a living example to women of how one need not remain in The Box.