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The butterfly's daughter
Mary Alice Monroe
Adult Fiction MONROE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Luz Avila's mother abandoned her when she was a very young child to be raised by her grandmother, who she calls Abuela. When Luz is a grown woman, Abuela insists on making a trip to her home village, Angangueo, in Mexico, where the monarch butterflies migrate each year, but Luz is reluctant to interrupt her life. Abuela dies before they can make the trip, and Luz, tormented by regrets, decides to make the journey with Abuela's ashes, driving from Milwaukee to Mexico, following the path of the butterflies. Along the way, Luz meets extraordinary women who transform her: a tough but gentle young girl scarred by life; a free-spirited wanderer; a prim and proper woman who has lost opportunities. Arriving in San Antonio, Tex., to find her aunt, Luz 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. Monroe (Time Is a River) has succeeded, in her third novel, in taking a straightforward coming-of-age story and adding a Mexican twist to it, but the characters are stock and the outcome predictable, though readers who take comfort in knowing what comes next will not be disappointed. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

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 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Luz Avila
Raised by her grandmother; goes on a journey to discover her roots; mother comes back in her life.

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