Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe - Library Journal Review

My review of The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe is reprinted with permission. It appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of Library Journal.

Monroe, Mary Alice. The Butterfly’s Daughter. Gallery: S. & S. May 2011. c.400p. ISBN 9781439170618. $25. F
Esperanza Avila worries about her 21-year-old granddaughter. Luz doesn’t know her family traditions, doesn’t speak her native Spanish, and is trapped in a foundry job in Milwaukee. After Luz’s mother disappeared, the abuela raised the girl on Aztec myths along with stories of the monarch butterflies in the mountains of Mexico. One phone call changes everything. Esperanza buys a VW and tells Luz they must drive to her home village by November 1, the Day of the Dead, to be there when the migrating monarchs return. But her death leaves Luz to make the pilgrimage alone. Following the path of the butterflies, she finds herself on a journey of discovery, seeking her inner courage and the secrets of a vanished mother. VERDICT 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. [Author tour; feature title at ALA.]—Lesa Holstine, Glendale P.L., AZ

Copyright 2011. Library Journals, LLC.  Reprinted with permission.

FTC Full Disclosure - My copy was supplied by Library Journal in order to review the book


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sounds like an interesting book with a very original plot! You're right--book clubs would really find it interesting, I think.

Lesa said...

And, I learned something new just yesterday, Elizabeth. I mentioned it at our librarians' brown bag luncheon. It turns out that Glendale is a stop for the monarch butterflies on their migration. We have a garden at the library, and they've planted milkweed there to serve as a host for the butterflies. This book would actually be an excellent choice in our community.

bermudaonion said...

I love Monroe's work and can't wait to read this book!

Lesa said...

I know I reviewed it a little early, Kathy, but I was discussing it with librarians yesterday, so I went ahead and posted the review.

Ingrid King said...

This sounds wonderful. I've read and loved all of Mary Alice Monroe's books.

Lesa said...

I've read many of them and enjoyed them, too, Ingrid. Since you're a fan, I'm sure you're going to like this one.

Mary Alice said...

Hi Lesa,
Thank you for the review. It gave my heart wings! If you have a library event that you'd like me to speak at regarding my book and all the monarchs that fly through your area, please let me know. I'd love to come.

The monarchs have left the sanctuaries and are on their way!

Much love,
Mary Alice

Lesa said...

Thank you, Mary Alice! I love that turn of phrase, "It gave my heart wings." Thank you.

Unfortunately, I'm now in Glendale, AZ, quite a distance for you to come for a library event, or I'd love to have you here. But, I'm passing on the word to the librarians here, particularly at our Main library, where they've planted milkweed for the monarchs. And, I didn't know that until I talked about your book this week. I just thought it was a wonderful book to present here with our Hispanic residents.

Good luck, Mary Alice!

DIVA said...

Several years ago after returning from a Medial Mission to Nigeria, a nurse serving with us mailed me my first copy. I emailed Mrs. Moore and let her know how much the book meant to me. I placed the Monarch migration at the top of my bucket list. Three years ago I was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis, , a bone marrow cancer probably due to radiation exposure in my 20  plus years in Interventional Radiology. I was force into retirement, had a pity party for  a minute then continued to life. I met the love of my life. I shared my bucket list with him. This past  December the love of my life, Lou, secretly planned my BUCKET List TRIP and the end of this past February, we flew into Mexico city for a few days off to Angangueo, Mexico. What an amazing trip. As the Monarchs came to life in the morning sun. I was brought to tears. We styed for the festival, visited the sanctuary's, and fell in love with the butterflies. Thanks for such a beautiful book, which I have ordered five more copies to give as gifts. Encouraging everyone to live their bucket lists. 
Thanks for such an incredible moving book.