cover image Dancing with Butterflies

Dancing with Butterflies

Reyna Grande, . . Washington Square, $16 (392pp) ISBN 978-1-4391-0906-9

Grande's lyrical and sensual follow-up to her stunning Across a Hundred Mountains (2006) is well worth the wait. This time out, there is still the poignant intimacy of the Mexican immigrant experience, but it's richly layered into the lives of four women who discover that their passion for the vibrant tradition of Folklórico dancing binds them to their pasts, futures and one another as each faces her own test of love and loyalty. There's Yesenia, the founder of Grupo Folklórico Alegria, who, at 42, is struggling through a midlife crisis that threatens to wreck everything she's loved; Elena, a young dancer and teacher whose stillborn daughter pushes her into a forbidden love; Soledad, a gifted seamstress for the Folklórico group whose dreams of her own dress shop get derailed by a return to Mexico to visit her dying grandmother; and Adriana, Elena's impetuous younger sister, who's involved in an abusive relationship. Nothing is simple for these complex women, but the art and culture of a Mexican dance tradition is what finally saves their lives, and we're lucky to be in the audience. (Oct.)