Andre's Reviews > My Name is Butterfly

My Name is Butterfly by Bernice L. McFadden
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's review
May 23, 12

really liked it

First, I can't believe a Bernice McFadden book can be had for a mere .99 cents. Simply unbelievable. The onslaught of e-reading has made this possible. Authors are being freed up and are becoming more prolific. They are frequently becoming unbound to the traditional publishing cycle. And we the readers benefit. This book at this price by this author, wow!

My Name is Butterfly is the story of Abebe. She is a child living and thriving in Ghana. Her well-to-do family are living the good life. When the father begins to experience a bit of bad luck, and the family history calls for some atonement, the father does the unthinkable and sacrifices his daughter to the Gods, i.e. Trokosi. Trokosi is a "religious" practice based on some strange beliefs and superstiions. If one wants to be favored by the Gods, a sacrifice of a female virgin to the "shrine" is necessary. Abebe is just nine years old when her father takes this desperate step to turn around his life fortunes. He drops her off at the shrine and Abebe becomes slave to the Gods.

Bernice makes us feel all the attendant horrors that come with being enslaved and exploited, definitely an emotion grabbing experience. I think the journey of Abebe may have been more deeply felt, if not for the prologue. In the prologue we hear the name Duma, and 1/3 of the way through the book the name Duma resurfaces. So the ending is a bit telegraphed because of this. However, Bernice is such a gifted writer, you still get tugged at the heart strings by the pacing and sharp sparse prose that makes this a one-sitting book as your curiosity takes over.

There are some twists and surprises as Abebe's story begins to unfold which keeps things interesting, despite the prologue. My Name is Butterfly will be a great book for discussion, especially surrounding religion and the destructive use of such. The journey of Abebe is an important one and the educational benefits will make you that much more aware of what can be done in the name of tradition and "religion." The bargain price here cannot be passed on. There will be no greater value.
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