The Butterfly Lampshade by Aimee Bender

The Butterfly Lampshade

by Aimee Bender

3.57 · 14 ratings · Published: 28 Jul 2020

The Butterfly Lampshade by Aimee Bender
From the author of the beloved New York Times bestseller The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake , a luminous, poignant tale of a mother, a daughter, mental illness, and the fluctuating barrier between the mind and the world.

On the night her single mother is taken to a mental hospital after a psychotic episode, eight year-old Francie is staying with her babysitter, waiting to take the train to Los Angeles to go live with her aunt and uncle. There is a lovely lamp next to the couch on which she's sleeping, the shade adorned with butterflies. When she wakes, Francie spies a dead butterfly, exactly matching the ones on the lamp, floating in a glass of water. She drinks it before the babysitter can see.

Twenty years later, Francie is compelled to make sense of that moment, and two other incidents -- her discovery of a desiccated beetle from a school paper, and a bouquet of dried roses from some curtains. Her recall is exact -- she is sure these things happened. But despite her certainty, she wrestles with the hold these memories maintain over her, and what they say about her relationship to reality.

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