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The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice…

The Butterfly's Daughter

by Mary Alice Monroe

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1961690,136 (3.65)15
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    Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (wenbubo)
    wenbubo: There is a love of gardens and family ties are strong.

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I kind of slugged my way through this book, I couldn't pinpoint when I got restless with the plot but I really enjoyed the facts about the monarch butterflies. I'm glad I finished it for that reason. ( )
  mchwest | Feb 23, 2018 |
Book on CD read by the author

Luz Avila’s mother abandoner her when she was a toddler, and she’s been raised by her grandmother. Now she sets out on a road trip to take her grandmother’s ashes back to her native village in Mexico, an area near the Monarch butterfly sanctuary.

I knew this was a chick-lit, road-trip, find-yourself kind of novel going in. I was intrigued by the link to the monarch butterfly migration, and by the main character’s journey from Milwaukee (where I currently live) to San Antonio (where I grew up) and on to Mexico.

There were parts of this story which I really liked. I liked that Luz was a young woman with some uncertainty in her past and uncertainty about her future, who decided to take on this trip without help or assistance. Of course, that’s a somewhat foolish goal, and she DOES need help along the way, but she manages to usually figure out a way to keep going without relying on her boyfriend to rescue her. Brava! I also liked the various people she picks up along the way: Ofelia, Margaret, even Stacie. These characters bring a new way of thinking to Luz, and help her to eventually find her own path.

I also liked that the ending, while hopeful, was NOT just wrapped up in a pretty little happy-ever-after bow.

I was not so keen on the way that Monroe basically dropped the additional characters along the way, however. And I really disliked Mariposa, Luz’s supposedly dead mother. I quickly got tired of her self-imposed guilt trip and how thoughtless she was about Luz and the ofrenda she had worked on to honor her Abuela, Mariposa’s own mother.

In general, I would probably give this 3 stars – an enjoyable, chick-lit read. Except…

Monroe reads the audiobook herself. She clearly has the emotional connection to the book and to these characters, and that comes through on the audio. Her pacing is good, as well. However, her pronunciation of Spanish was so bad that it completely distracted me from the book. I kept yelling at the CD whenever she mispronounced “la Virgen de Guadalupe” and other key Spanish phrases. So, she gets only 1 star for her audio performance, and that brings the entire rating down. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 9, 2018 |
Not my favorite MAM novel, but I did addd a little more about butterflies to my knowledge base. ( )
  bookczuk | Jun 27, 2017 |
Sweet book. It was a book club choice. Bit too easy. ( )
  shazjhb | Sep 10, 2015 |
A bit heavy-handed with the message at times, but overall a good fast read. ( )
  vnesting | Oct 26, 2014 |
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We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve the beauty." - Maya Angelou
To Lauren McKenna, who understands the chrysalis will become a butterfly.
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Long, long ago, before time began-can you imagine so far back, querida?
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Book description
Every year, the monarch butterflies-las mariposas-fly a 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 Beetle, she finds her heart opened by a series of seemingly random encounters with remarkable women. In Texas, however, a startling revelation awaits: a reunion with a woman from her past. Together, the two cross Mexico to witness the returning monarachs in the mountain village Abuela called home, but they are also crossing a border that seperates past from present...and myth from reality. (ARC)
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Following the migrating monarchs across the United States to Mexico, Luz Avila arrives in San Antonio to find her aunt and meets her mother, who she had always believed dead. Now Luz must face her mother's reappearance in her life and get her grandmother's ashes to Mexico for the Day of the Dead.… (more)

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Average: (3.65)
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