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Butterfly's Daughter(CD)(Unabr.) [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Mary Alice Monroe

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Book Description

May 3 2011
The legend of las mariposas — the beautiful monarch butterflies that every year fly more than two thousand miles on fragile wings to return to their winter home in Mexico — is Luz Avila’s birthright. She learned of their ways and their mystical powers from the grandmother who was the only family she ever knew. Now it is her turn, like the butterflies, to make that long, perilous journey. In order to honor a promise to her beloved abuela, Luz must return her grandmother’s ashes to her ancestral village in the mountains of Mexico. But while this ofrenda, a tradition so old its origins are lost in the mists of time, will mean leaving behind a man who loves Luz deeply, the journey promises to bring deep spiritual meaning to the life of a woman who cannot find her way into the future until she comes to terms with the past. As Luz slowly makes her way south from blustery Milwaukee in a VW Bug so ancient it has no business on the highway, a series of seemingly random encounters touches her life: a desperate mother-to-be, even younger than her, fleeing an abusive lover. An anywhere-the-wind-blows free spirit. A lonely career woman who is determined to live, really live, for the first time. It is in San Antonio, however, that a truly startling revelation awaits Luz: a reunion with a shadowy figure from her childhood. Together, they cross the border into Mexico, but they also must somehow cross the border that separates past from present, bitterness from love, and truth from lies. They will honor the memory of another beloved woman by standing in the Sacred Circle to witness the spectacular, glittering river of orange monarchs descend from the sky to return home. If they can share in this age-old ritual, perhaps they will be able to find their way back to love, and take their place in the enduring cycle of life.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (May 3 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441812962
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441812964
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 13.1 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,045,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"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" --This text refers to the Digital edition.

About the Author

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of Last Light over Carolina and Time Is a River as well as many other acclaimed novels. She received the 2008 Award for Writing from the South Carolina Center for the Book. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina, where she is at work on her next novel.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  130 reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read! May 3 2011
By Mary Bookhounds - Published on
Luz lives with her grandmother after her mother, Mariposa, dies in Wisconsin. Her grandmother of Mexican descent tries to teach Luz the meaning of life through the folklore of Mexico, but when her grandmother dies suddenly, Luz loses her center and embarks on a trip of a lifetime to take her grandmother's ashes back to Mexico and the sanctuary where the Monarch butterfly winters. The trip is a self discovery for Luz and the three women she meets along the way. Her grandmother has purchased an old orange VW to take a trip to visit relatives, but they always put off because of no money. Now Luz is forced to follow through and the trip ends up being a changing point in her life.

She leaves her boyfriend, Sully, behind and the car breaks down. While it is being fixed, she temps at a restaurant, where she meets Ofelia who is pregnant. When Ofelia is beaten by her boyfriend, Luz convinces her to leave and they go on to visit Ofelia's mother where Ofelia and her dog can stay until the baby is born. When they reach the nursery where Ofelia's mother worked and discover she is gone, Ofelia goes into labor and stays with the nursery owner and Luz picks up a new traveler, Margaret, the uptight nursery manager who always had plans to visit the butterfly sanctuary. Their next stop leads them to a camp ground where they meet Stacie, a free spirit who adds to the mix and directs them to Austin and their next stop.Stacie brings her own kind of magic to Luz's self discovery trip. She teaches both Margaret and Luz that they should enjoy life and take it as it comes.

The final step in Luz's journey is when she meets her mother's family and there a startling discovery is made that makes Luz rethink her whole history. The news Luz receives is a life changing event that you need to read about--sorry no spoiler here! Luz does make the trek to the butterfly sanctuary and grows immensely. I just loved the descriptions and how the author related self discovery to the different stages of a butterfly's life cycle. Each chapter starts with a description of the life cycle and you can just imagine how Luz felt with each step of her journey with some remarkable women that she meets along the way, each of them goddesses like the folklore tales she grew up with.

I live on the western coastal trail of the Monarch's migration and they are just starting their trek home. The day I received this book in the mail, I saw my first Monarch of the season. I had such a amazing feeling of hope that only progressed as I read the book. I have some milkweed plants and I will plant more to see if I can get the Monarchs to stay in my yard, but because the route is also a bird migration route, the eggs don't last long here as the birds gobble them up. This is truly an inspiring tale of new beginnings and wonderful way to look at your own surroundings in that you can be reborn like a butterfly.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Monarch Butterfly's Life is a Little Like My Life May 6 2011
By Grapes - Published on
Mary Alice Monroe

Although I have finished The Butterfly's Daughter by MARY ALICE MONROE, I will never forget this novel. When I began the novel, I did not know my heart would become intertwined not only with the characters but also with the monarch butterflies' travels. Their journey is long and hazardous. Thankfully, each chapter starts with a heading about the butterflies. Mary Alice Monroe has chosen the most scintillating facts about the butterflies for people like me who are scientifically challenged. Those chapter headings always seemed to relate to the lives of the character: Abuela, Luz, Margaret, Stacie, Mariposa, Sully, Ofelia and even Serena, the chihuahua are on an "epic journey" of metamorphisis like the monarch butterflies. The monarchs have their powerful wings for travel and Luz has her Abuela's El Toro. El Toro is an orange VW. It is picked by Abuela, Luz's grandma. Abuela wants to go back home to the mountains of Mexico with Luz. She wants to take the time to share with Luz the many thoughts in her heart. The problem is can this beaten up orange thing on wheels take them that far.

Luz takes off in El Toro never realizing it would become a wild adventure. Really, no day is the same. No day is the same for the monarch butterflies either. As they travel, a monarch butterfly can become too cold, too hot, tattered and torn. Life is tough not just for humans but also, for these creatures who go through so many stages before becoming a beautiful butterfly. In Tia Maria's house there are aquariums where the caterpillar goes from one stage to the next stage.

I am glad Mary Alice Monroe chose to write about the monarch butterflies. Their life is like my life. I have constantly gone through changes just by living through infancy, the toddler stage, adolescence, young adulthood, middle age and onward. At each stage I have needed to come to grips with a new me. However, now I can think of the monarch. When I am tired from struggling to understand each stage, I can know that somewhere along the way there is a beautiful spiritual me being born. So I really related to Luz as she cried, forgave, laughed, loved and remembered.

"Luz sat in a window seat of the crowded plane and gazed out as she traveled north. It had been a tumultuous season of new relationships and goodbyes."

This is a bittersweet novel. I did not like how all the situations were handled in Luz's life. I did not like all the people. I almost despised Mariposa for something she did up in the mountains of Mexico with the ofrenda made by Luz and her friends. I was afraid that Mary Alice Monroe would just sweep it under the rug by making it just a little misunderstanding between Mariposa and Luz. To my satisfaction the author made the scenes very real. Luz acted just the way I would have acted if Mariposa had done what she did to me. Mariposa has been through many hells in her life. So, she's rough around the edges. Often, her actions seem very selfish. While learning about her and watching how she acted and had acted in life, I realized it is really hard to forgive people. However, life is a circle that must become complete before I can feel complete. Plus, I can never throw away family. Our ancestors, our roots, are what makes me feel more than just a shadow on this earth. My family gives me purpose. So, it is important to work through the rough spots.

I can only end by writing that THE BUTTERFLY'S DAUGHTER is ripe with meaning and very poignant. I do have one new goal for my life's list. I would like to travel to the mountains of Mexico to see the sky "explode in orange glitter" with monarch butterflies.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling May 1 2011
By G. Cryns - Published on
I admit I am a Mary Alice Monroe fan. So I am pleased say that I think this is Mary Alice's best work to date. Transformation and change is the main theme. She mirrored the migration of the monarch butterflies extremely well without getting too heavy about it. This is a great read. Pick it up!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Butterfly's Daughter June 5 2011
By nanabutterfly - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was one of the most exciting books I have ever read. Not only did it give me a great insight into the miracle of Monarch butterflies and their metamorphis. The characters are so interesting and weave together a wonderful story of change and growth for the women involved but the changes of the beautiful Monarachs. It speaks of redemption, growth and renewal. Anyone interested in changing or growing will be inspsired by this book. It is a oppotunity how to live with hope and a better understanding of how to preserve these beautiful insects.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Butterfly's Daughter May 9 2011
By micmin107 - Published on
The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe is an amazing story of self discovery. This book has it all. Love, romance, mystery, violence, and discovery.

The story follows a young woman as she discovers her heritage and her own identity. Mary Alice Monroe compares the life of this young woman with the life of the monarch butterfly. The story has real characters to love, hate, and identify with. The story mimics life in such a genuine way. There are highs and lows in the story that bound me to the heroine of the story. Her story could easily be my story.

The Butterfly's Daughter is an easy read. Once you start, it is difficult to put down. You need to find out what happens next. The author has written a beautiful and heart warming story. I give this book 5 stars.

A complimentary copy of The Butterfly's Daughter was provided to me. All opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.

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