"An engrossing novel that truly is a praise song for survivors everywhere."
Abeo Kata lives a comfortable, happy life in West Africa as the privileged nine-year-old daughter of a government employee and stay-at-home mother. But when the Katas’ idyllic lifestyle takes a turn for the worse, Abeo’s father, following his mother’s advice, places the girl in a religious shrine, hoping that the sacrifice of his daughter will serve as atonement for the crimes of his ancestors. Unspeakable acts befall Abeo for the fifteen years she is held in the shrine. When she is finally rescued, broken and battered, she must struggle to overcome her past, endure the revelation of family secrets, and learn to trust and love again.
In the tradition of Chris Cleave’s Little Bee, this novel is a contemporary story that offers an eye-opening account of the practice of ritual servitude in West Africa. Spanning decades and two continents, Praise Song for the Butterflies will break your heart and then heal it.
“Recent favorites [at Mahogany Books in Washington, DC] include…award-winning novelist Bernice L. McFadden’s forthcoming Praise Song for the Butterflies, about a nine-year-old West African girl sacrified into religious servitude.”
—Vanity Fair, included in a feature on Mahogany Books
“Abeo is unrelenting–a fiery protagonist who sparks in every scene. Bernice L. McFadden has created yet another compelling story, this time about hope and freedom.”
—Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun