Odilia and her sisters live with their busy mother in a small town in Texas. One summer day, while relaxing in their swimming hole, the girls discover a dead man’s body. Odilia’ s younger sisters are eager to do something about it, but Odilia resists. A ghostly encounter changes her mind, and they embark on a journey to return the man to his family in Mexico. They believe it will be a simple trip – just there and back. However, once the body is in the proper hands, the ghost comes again to tell the girls their journey is just beginning. Harassed by demonic owls, a cruel warlock and a shepherd boy who is more than he appears, they race to a relative’s house. When they arrive, they rely upon their grandmother to help them get home. The disappearance of Odilia and her sisters has caused quite a stir, and the authorities are searching for them. Even after this escapade, one last surprise is in store for them – one even Odilia may not be able to deal with.
A modern take on the classic tale of The Odyssey, Summer of the Mariposas is an intriguing book. I’ve always liked rewritten fairy tales, and this was a similar concept, so I figured it was worth a try. Actually, it was more than worth it. I loved this book. My favorite part was the individuality of the five girls. Odilia, the oldest, is clever and focused, able to keep her head even when her sisters nearly leave without her. Juanita is fierce and proud, but as admirable as Odilia in her own brusque way. The twins, Velia and Delia, are amusing, imagining themselves famous for finding the man. Last, but not least, we have Pita – a young, excitable, little spark of a girl who manages to drive her sisters crazy. There you go. Five little sisters, together forever. Each one different, but all filled with the talents and flaws that make them characters we will remember for a long time. McCall has done a superb job on this book, and I can’t wait to read more by her!