The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe

Luz Avila has been raised by her grandmother.  She does not know her aunts, uncles, or cousins, and believes her mother is dead.  Through stories and legends about the Monarch butterfly, her grandmother tries to give Luz a sense of family and belonging and purpose.

When her beloved abuela dies Luz decides to take her ashes home to Mexico.  To where the Monarchs find sanctuary.

Her trip in an old VW Bug, El Toro, is not uneventful.  On the way to Mexico; she meets  a pregnant teenager and helps her leave an abusive boyfriend, encourages a sad single career woman to get out of her comfort zone, and learns from a street wise woman to take a chance and follow her heart. They share their stories and wisdom with Luz and she with them.  She meets the mother she thought was dead and realizes the depth of her boyfriend’s love for her.

While making her way to San Antonio and then to Mexico Luz learns  about love, to trust herself, and that family is not always neat and cozy.   Keeping her hearts promise to her abuela is most important and not easy.  Yet, she does not let disappointment, many who discourage her, or hard truths to deter her.  Like the Monarch butterfly she prevails.