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Praise Song for the Butterflies


A young woman must learn to love and trust again after experiencing the brutality of ritual servitude in West Africa.
***WHILE SUPPLIES LAST, all copies purchased through our website will be signed by the author.
******Note that as of 12:30 PM on 6/8/18 we have sold all of our signed paperbacks. There are a limited number of signed hardcovers still available! Please contact with any questions or concerns.

Forthcoming: 8/28/18

$15.95 $11.96

What people are saying…

“A tale set in [West Africa], where a girl is given up by her family, endures a very hard life, and, once set free, must find a way to heal and live forward.”
Philadelphia Inquirer, Included in Must-Read Books for Summer 2018

“An engrossing novel that truly is a praise song for survivors everywhere.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Ramunda and her husband, Derrick, are dedicated to providing their community with access to books ‘for, about, and by the people of the African Diaspora.’ The shelves are thusly stocked with the works of such notables as Chinua Achebe and Alice Walker, as well as a wide selection of new releases. Recent favorites include . . . award-winning novelist Bernice L. McFadden’s forthcoming Praise Song for the Butterflies, about a nine-year-old West African girl sacrificed into religious servitude.”
Vanity Fair, from in a feature on DC’s Mahogany Books

Included in 22 Upcoming Releases by Authors of Color Featured at BEA

“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

Praise for the previous works of Bernice L. McFadden:

“McFadden works a kind of miracle—not only do her characters retain their appealing humanity; their story eclipses the bonds of history to offer continuous surprises . . . Beautiful and evocative.”
—Jesmyn Ward, New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice), on Gathering of Waters

“Simply miraculous.”
Washington Post on The Book of Harlan


***Note that as of 12:30 PM on 6/8/18 we have sold all of our signed paperbacks. There are a limited number of signed hardcovers still available! Please contact with any questions or concerns.

Signed copies available while supplies last!


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 you heart and then heal it.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Published: 8/28/18
  • IBSN: 9781617756269
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756511
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617755750


BERNICE L. McFADDEN is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels including Sugar, Loving Donovan, Nowhere Is a Place, The Warmest December, Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012), Glorious, and The Book of Harlan (winner of a 2017 American Book Award and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Fiction). She is a four-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of three awards from the BCALA. Praise Song for the Butterflies is her latest novel.

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