An unusual, touching novel about two Southern Men looking for love, and what happens along the way. Warwick and Dean are good friends and live in the rural community of Mossburn in Southland. Dean runs his father's farm and lives alone. He signs up for a rural dating service in a bid to find a wife. Warwick married Sabine, who left him to return to Germany to be with her elderly father. They have a young son called Eckie. Warwick hunts butterflies to fill in his lonely days after Sabine's departure (a Butler's Ringlet is a rare South Island butterfly). Sabine and little Eckie return to New Zealand on holiday. Warwick desperately wants to get back together with Sabine but is hindered by indecision and self-doubt. Dean can see him struggling but has his own problems with a tyrannical father and on-going grief for his dead brother. Both men realise that a mammoth leap of faith is needed to get what they want, but in their separate ways both are paralysed. Butler's Ringlet presents a realistic and often touching portrait of a provincial male world seldom covered in recent New Zealand fiction. It is further evidence of Laurence Fearnley's original and often quirky view of the world.
The novel is illustrated with black and white photographs of the region taken by the author.