Authors - A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The Butterfly's Daughter (2011)

Abuela is desperate to make a road trip to Mexico to see her family for the last time because she fears she may not have another chance. Her granddaughter Luz, the more conservative one who pays the bills, wants Abuela to wait. When Abuela dies suddenly, Luz respects her last request of a road trip to Mexico in a VW bug to see the family and the monarch butterflies. Her first stop is not far from Milwaukee because the car breaks down. By chance she meets Ofelia, who is pregnant with her first child and has an abusive boyfriend. The pair make their way to Kansas City to stay with Ofelia's aunt who works at Hidden Ponds Nursery. While Ofelia is in the hospital giving birth, Luz stays with Margaret who also works at Hidden Ponds. With a new baby, Ofelia can't continue on the journey so Margaret instead becomes Luz's travelling companion. Will Luz be able to find her family? What will she learn from her journey? This is the first time I've read anything by Mary Alice Monroe - she is to be commended for the way she crafted the story about self-discovery around the migration of monarch butterflies. (JG)

The Beach House (2002)

This is a wonderfully heart-warming story about the affirmation of the relationship between Cara and her mother. Cara had left home years ago in a cloud of teenage fury at her controlling, manipulative father, vowing never to return. Over the years she built a fulfilling lifestyle for herself in Chicago, but when she is unexpectedly sacked, her relationship collapses. Then her mother's letter arrives and she decides to honour her mother's wish to spend time with her at the beach house. She reunites with her school friends and begins to take an interest in her mother's passion for the endangered loggerhead turtle. She even begins a tender summer affair with the enigmatic and dashingly handsome Brett. After spending rewarding time together, her mother confides her innermost secrets and finally Cara grows to understand, respect and love her mother, realising she had been quick to judge and condemn. This story underlines that past mistakes can be forgiven, love and sacrifice are bedfellows and family is forever. It's a real gem of a book, a page-turner with a feel-good factor. (JH)

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Last Light Over Carolina

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The Long Road Home