Angela Davis-Gardner, author of Butterfly’s Child, on tour April 2012

Posted By on February 22, 2012

About Butterfly’s Child

Paperback: 384 pages

Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback (April 10, 2012)

When three-year-old Benji is plucked from the security of his home in Nagasaki to live with his American father, Lt. Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, and stepmother, Kate, on their farm in Illinois, the family conceals Benji’s true identity as a child born from a liaison between an officer and a geisha, and instead tells everyone that he is an orphan.

Frank struggles to keep the farm going while coping with his guilt and longing for the deceased Butterfly. Deeply devout Kate is torn between her Christian principles and her resentment of raising another woman’s child. And Benji’s life as an outcast—neither fully American nor fully Japanese—forces him to forge an identity far from the life he has known.

When the truth about Benji surfaces, it will splinter this family’s fragile dynamic, sending repercussions spiraling through their close-knit rural community and sending Benji on the journey of a lifetime from Illinois to the Japanese settlements in Denver and San Francisco, then across the ocean to Nagasaki, where he will uncover the truth about his mother’s tragic death.

A sweeping portrait of a changing American landscape at the end of the nineteenth century, and of a Japanese culture irrevocably altered by foreign influence, Butterfly’s Child explores people in transition—from old worlds to new customs, heart’s desires to vivid realities—in an epic tale that plays out as both a conclusion to and an inspiration for one of the most famous love stories ever told.


“Extraordinary…To give away any of the astonishing plot twists and revelations would deny the reader the thrill of a totally transforming and satisfying finale. Sometimes bold and gripping, often delicate and sensual, Butterfly’s Child is utterly unique and entirely enchanting.”–The Washington Post

“This spectacular novel manages to be many things at once: an exploration of race and difference; a viscerally tragic love story; a sweeping, authoritative portrait of late 19th century Midwestern life; a poignant inquiry into the burdens and hardships of women; and a clever reimagining of Puccini’s opera. Butterfly’s Child eclipsed my own life while I was feverishly immersed in it, and dominated my mood and thoughts long after I’d finished.”
—JENNIFER EGAN, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

“The kind of book you sink into, becoming so transfixed by the story that you cannot help devouring it in just a few sittings. Davis-Gardner has created a masterful novel and an engaging read.”—Charlotte Observer 

Book club alert:…a highly readable sequel to the tragic opera that works within the characters’ existing framework while still managing to sneak in a few surprises.”–Christian Science Monitor

About Angela Davis-Gardner

Angela Davis-Gardner is the author of the internationally acclaimed novels Felice, Forms of Shelter, and Plum Wine, which was inspired by the time she spent teaching Tsuda College in Tokyo, Japan. An Alumni Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Angela has won nearly thirty awards for writing and teaching. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she is at work on her next novel.

For more information about Angela Davis-Gardner, please visit her website at

Angela Davis-Gardner’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, April 2nd:  Col Reads

Wednesday, April 4th:  Dolce Bellezza

Thursday, April 5th:  Broken Teepee

MOnday, April 9th:  Life in Review

Wednesday, April 11th:  BookNAround

Thursday, April 12th:  lit*chick

Thursday, April 12th:  She Knows

Monday, April 16th:  Unabridged Chick

Tuesday, April 17th:  Nomad Reader

Wednesday, April 18th:  Luxury Reading

Monday, April 23rd:  Sophisticated Dorkiness

Wednesday, April 25th:  My Bookshelf

Thursday, April 26th:  Bookfoolery and Babble

Monday, April 30th:  Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, May 10th:  Lit Endeavors


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