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The Butterfly's Daughter

The Butterfly's Daughter

  • reading group guide
  • freshman reading
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.
Choose a format:
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439170687 | 
  • April 2012
List Price $18.99

Video

How Migration and Metamorphosis Inspire Mary Alice Monroe

Author Mary Alice Monroe follows two journeys in THE BUTTERFLY'S DAUGHTER: the cross-generational trek of the monarchs and that of a granddaughter, both on the road to Mexico.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Butterfly's Daughter includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


INTRODUCTION


In The Butterfly’s Daughter, four women embark on a journey of self-discovery that follows the monarch butterflies’ migration to Mexico. The story begins when Luz Avila’s grandmother, the local butterfly lady, purchases an old VW bug for a road trip back home to Mexico. When she unexpectedly dies, Luz is inspired to take her Abuela’s ashes home. Following her grandmother’s beloved butterflies, Luz meets a collection of women—each on a journey of her own. But nothing can prepare Luz for what she finds along the way.

Rich with lyrical detail and insight, The Butterfly’s Daughter embraces the notion that life is more about the journey, rather than the destination.


Topics & Questions for Discussion


1. The author writes, “The annual migration of the monarch is a phenomenal story—a miracle of instinct and survival.” (p. 9) Do you think this quote also applies to Luz and her friends’ journey? Where else in The Butterfly’s Daughter are the see more

About the Author

Mary Alice Monroe
Photo credit: Barbara J. Bergwerf

Mary Alice Monroe

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of thirteen novels. Her books received numerous awards, including the Award for Writing from the South Carolina Center for the Book and the International Fiction Award for Green Fiction. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina where she is at work on her next novel. Visit her at MaryAliceMonroe.com and on Facebook.

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