Synopses & Reviews
Now in paperback from New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe, the lyrical story of four very different women who embark on a transformational journey that follows the migrating monarchs across the United States to Mexico.
Each fall, millions of delicate, orange-and-black butterflies journey more than 2,000 miles from the United States and Canada to winter in the mountains of Mexico. The annual migration of the monarch is a phenomenal story—a miracle of instinct and survival.
In The Butterfly’s Daughter, Luz Avila’s grandmother, the local butterfly lady, purchases an old, orange VW bug for a road trip home to Mexico. When the elderly woman unexpectedly dies, Luz is inspired to take her
grandmother’s ashes home. In the manner of the Aztec myth of the goddess who brings light to the world, Luz attracts a collection of lost women, each seeking change in her life. Yet no one’s life changes more than Luz’s when she meets her long-lost mother, a woman she had believed dead.
The Mexican people believe the monarchs are the spirits of the recently departed, and Luz taps into ancient rituals and myths as she follows the spectacular, glittering river of orange monarchs in the sky to home. Along the way, the women’s mishaps, trials, and joys are met with humor and compassion, and readers will cheer for this heartwarming and extraordinary tale of mothers, daughters, and friends.
"Monroe, known for her environmental fiction (The Beach House; Sweetgrass), skillfully incorporates lore about the monarch butterflies into a rich novel about generations and tradition. This book, filled with unusual female characters, is highly recommended for book clubs and readers of women's fiction."
- Library Journal
“In The Butterfly’s Daughter
, Mary Alice Monroe gives us a novel that, like the monarch butterfly, has a plentitude of beauty and wonder. Luz Avila is a character we cheer on as she makes her journey from Wisconsin to Mexico and, equally, toward knowledge and forgiveness.”
—Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of Serena
Four very different women embark on a transformational journey that follows the migrating monarchs across the United States to Mexico. The story begins when Luz Avila's grandmother, the local butterfly lady, purchases an old, orange VW bug for a road trip home to Mexico. When she unexpectedly dies, Luz is inspired to take her grandmother's ashes home. In the manner of the Aztec myth of the goddess who brings light to the world, Luz attracts a collection of lost women, each seeking change in their lives. The Mexican people believe the monarchs are the spirits of the recently departed and Luz taps into ancient rituals and myths as she follows the spectacular, glittering river of orange monarchs in the sky to home.
Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times
bestselling author of the Lowcountry Summer trilogy, once again touches hearts with her lyrical, poignant, and moving novel The Butterfly’s Daughter
, now in paperback!
Every year, the monarch butterflies—las mariposas—fly more than two thousand miles on fragile wings to return to their winter home in Mexico. Now Luz Avila makes that same perilous journey south as she honors a vow to her beloved abuela—the grandmother who raised her—to return her ashes to her ancestral village. As Luz departs Milwaukee in a ramshackle old VW Bug, she finds her heart opened by a series of seemingly random encounters with remarkable women. In San Antonio, however, a startling revelation awaits: a reunion with a woman from her past. Together, the two cross into Mexico to await the returning monarchs in the little village Abuela called home, but they are also crossing a border that separates past from present . . . and truth from lies.
About the Author
Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times
bestselling author of thirteen novels, including The Butterfly’s Daughter, The Beach House, Time is a River,
and Last Light over Carolina
She found her true calling in environmental fiction when she moved to coastal South Carolina. Already a successful author, she was captivated by the beauty and fragility of her new home. Her experiences living in the midst of a habitat that was quickly changing gave her a strong and important focus for her books. Her latest novel, The Butterfly’s Daughter (May 2011), is set against the phenomenal migration of the endangered monarch butterfly. She has also explored the problems of endangered sea turtles (The Beach House, Swimming Lessons, and her first children’s book, Turtle Summer), raptors (Skyward), the indigenous grass and endangered coastal ecosystem of South Carolina (Sweetgrass