“Life is more about the journey than the destination.”
I enjoy books that teach me things while engaging me in an interesting story at the same time. When I had the opportunity to read The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe.
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.
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was interested in reading it. My aunt and uncle have been naturalists for more than 30 years (long before it was commonplace as it is today) so I grew up hearing about things such as the migrations of the butterflies. I was also interested in the novel because it sounded life a story about growth and development as well as relationships and those topics always appeal to me.
As I read The Butterfly’s Daughter, I wasn’t disappointed! I loved the character of Luz – the strength of her character and the challenges that she faced in terms of dealing with a lot of responsibility at a young age made her a character that I felt I could relate to for a number of reasons. The way in which her character developed and she flourished during her journey made her an even more appealing character and I found myself caring about what happened to her!
I also liked the way in which Monroe developed characters that appeared, and then disappeared (and sometimes even reappeared!) in Luz’s life as she made this journey. While a part of me wanted to know what had happend to these characters, I liked the realism of this element of the book because it truly reflected the way in which relationships develop in life. You find people in your life who are prominent for a period of time, or who have a profound effect in a short period of time, and then they leave your life. This aspect of the novel added to its realism.
I enjoyed The Butterfly’s Daughter as a whole. With its ease in style (which immediately grabbed my interest and made it a great book to pick up and read throughout the day), endearing characters and interesting storyline, it is a book that I plan to share with a friend who I think will enjoy it as well. I’m also interested in picking up some other books by Mary Alice Monroe – this is the first novel I have read by her but I’ve since learned that she has written a number of novels. I can’t wait to find out what her other novels are like!
You can check out a trailer for The Butterfly’s Daughter here.
Interested in learning more about The Butterfly’s Daughter? You can read an excerpt of the book here.
Check back tomorrow as you will have a chance to win copies of The Butterfly’s Daughter for yourself!