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Publisher's Summary

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 15 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.  

"An engrossing novel that truly is a praise song for survivors everywhere." (Kirkus Reviews)

"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)

"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 sacrificed into religious servitude." (Vanity Fair, included in a feature on Mahogany Books)

©2018 Bernice L. McFadden (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Searing!

I've been waiting all summer for this audiobook's release. Bernice McFadden is one of my favorite writers. She's a master of spare language; of the sharp detail that will unravel a tale as dark as any in the news. The image of a peanut rolling up to a yellow flip-flop and catalyses dreadful action is burned into my mind's eye.

"Praise Song" is in the expert hands of narrator Robin Miles and I can hardly think of anyone who could relate each character's flaws and troubles, as well as tenderness, with so much grace.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great read!

This was a wonderful book! My only wish is that it was longer. The narrator was second to none(Robin Miles never disappoints)! I recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing story

Beautiful account of a terrible tradegy. Written with love for Africa and it's stories, read with Grace and purpose. Thank you.

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Heart Wrenching!

My bookclub selected this novel for this month, and although I loved the narrative it was heart wrenching. I weeped for all the women and girls in this story, caught in a culture that sees women as second class citizens and sexual objects to be used and abused for the pleasure of men, who see themselves as gods. I tried to remember that the cultural practices discussed in this book are not that of my own, but as I woman it opened my eyes to what women world wide may experience. Please note, that while the women experience the greatest of injustices, they are also the saviors! Grab your tissues ladies, you'll need them.

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Tangled Earbuds 58

Love Bernice McFadden stories she is a master story teller. That never disappoints. This was a very enlightening, never heard of Tokosi shrines and the horrendous abuse of young African girls. This story broke my heart but I had a hopeful ending for the protagonist. Robin Miles is excellent as always as the narrator.

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Get the book!

I just couldn’t let it go! This book brought so many different emotions. The descriptions allowed me to travel with the characters, experience their joy, their excitement, their suffering and their worst fears. This book is so important to share! I can’t wait for the movie.
Well done Bernice! Well done!

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Praise Song for the Butterflies a must read!

I was not sure how I would like this story at first. But once I started I could hardly stop listening to this young girl's tale and how much, although fictional characters, they really are alive! This is a story no young or old African American should miss! Truly our ancestral and cultural struggles are linked. It is also a story of courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges!
This narrator is always so delightful, and inviting the way she soothes you with her voice, but picks up intricate details in her speech!! Excellent! Of course I have read a number of this author's books before audible and she is a dynamic writer!

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Another great pairing!

The combination of Bernice’s words and Robin’s voice make me excited! The story is great and I could listen to Robin Miles bring these stories to life every day!

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Fabulous!

Ms. McFadden has done it again. This story was incredibly inspiring...I can't wait for her next novel.

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A Nice Read Overall

I found the book just ok... not bad, but not brilliant either. For me, the book did not live up to the publisher's summary. That said, the narration was amazing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful