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Publication Date: August 2020 - Pre-order Now!
he first novel in ten years from the author of the beloved New York Times bestseller The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, a luminous, poignant tale of a mother, a daughter, mental illness and the fluctuating barrier between the mind and the world.
'The Butterfly Lampshade is an unflinching, empathetic portrayal of a childhood touched by mental illness. As always, Aimee Bender’s respect for the child and the child within translates into wisdom and magic on the page.' Jing-Jing Lee, author of How We Disappeared
On the night her single mother is taken to a mental hospital after a final psychotic break, eight year-old Francie is staying with her babysitter, waiting for uncle to come take her to Los Angeles to live. There is a lovely lamp next to the couch on which she's sleeping, the shade adorned with butterflies. When she wakes, Francie spies a dead butterfly, exactly matching the ones on the lamp, floating in a glass of water. She drinks it before the babysitter can see. Twenty years later, Francie is compelled to make sense of that moment, and two other incidents - her discovery of a desiccated beetle from a school paper, and a bouquet of dried roses from some curtains. Her recall is exact - she is sure these things happened. But despite her certainty, she wrestles with the possibility the memories yet may signal she's subject to her mother's madness. As Francie conjures her past, and reduces her engagement with the world to a bare minimum, she begins to question her relationship to reality. Told in lush, lilting prose, The Butterfly Lampshade is a heartfelt and heartbreaking examination of the sometimes overwhelming power of the material world, and of a broken love between mother and child.
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