Skip to main content


The Butterfly Lampshade (Digital Audiobook)

By Aimee Bender, Julia Whelan (Narrator)

Publication Date: July 29, 2020

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (7/27/2020)
Paperback (6/8/2021)
Hardcover (7/28/2020)

August 2020 Indie Next List

“I absolutely loved reading The Butterfly Lampshade. We’re escorted through Aimee Bender’s novel by Francie, who as a child is removed from her mother’s care because of mental illness. Throughout the story, Francie questions her own sanity as she deeply believes she witnesses phenomena that defy nature. Increasingly, she withdraws from the world, owning next to nothing and working hard to remember the events of her life. This book and this amazing character are astonishing.”
— Mark LaFramboise, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
View the List

Description

Told in lush, lilting prose, The Butterfly Lampshade is a heartfelt and heartbreaking examination of the sometimes overwhelming power of the material world, and of a broken love between mother and child.

On the night her mother is taken to a mental hospital after a psychotic episode, eight year-old Francie is staying with her babysitter. Next to the couch on which she's sleeping, there is a lamp that catches her eye, its shade adorned with butterflies. When she wakes, Francie sees a dead butterfly 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 were real. But despite her certainty, she wrestles with the hold these memories have over her, and with what they say about her place in the world.