Pioneer Book Club

Information and Questions about Pioneer Book Club Events

How do I register? Register online to attend a book club event in your area or contact your hostess individually.

What is Pioneer Book Club?  Pioneer Book Club is a collaborative alumnae event that will reconnect alumnae to life on campus and to one another. The Alumnae Association invites all alumnae to share in the common reading experience of The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author and Wesleyan’s 2015 Katharine Payne Carnes Lecture Series speaker. Ms. Monroe will visit Wesleyan and speak to the campus community on January 22, 2015. 

When is Pioneer Book Club?  Pioneer Book Club will be celebrated in October and November with alumnae hostesses opening their homes for conversation, refreshments, and a lively book discussion.  Check out our list of events for a book discussion in your area. (I don’t see an event in my area, but I would like to host a book discussion!)

Tell me more about the book The Butterfly’s DaughterIn The Butterfly’s Daughter, author Mary Alice Monroe touches hearts with her unique ability to celebrate both the complexities of the human psyche and the splendor of nature. Four women embark on a journey of self-discovery that follows the monarch butterflies' migration to Mexico. The story begins when Luz Avila's grandmother, the local butterfly lady, purchases an old VW bug for a road trip back home to Mexico. When she unexpectedly dies, Luz is inspired to take her Abuela's ashes home. Following her grandmother's beloved butterflies, Luz meets a collection of women - each on a journey of her own. But nothing can prepare Luz for what she finds along the way. Rich with lyrical detail and insight, The Butterfly's Daughter embraces the notion that life is more about the journey, rather than the destination.

Tell me more about Mary Alice Monroe. New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe found her true calling in environmental fiction when she moved to coastal South Carolina. Already a successful author, she was captivated by the beauty and fragility of her new home. Her experiences living in the midst of a habitat that was quickly changing gave her a strong and important focus for her books.

Mary Alice Monroe writes richly textured books that delve into the complexities of interpersonal relationships and the parallels between the land and life. Monroe’s novels are published worldwide. Author of Last Light over Carolina, Time is a River, and other acclaimed novels, her books have achieved bestseller lists including the New York Times, USA Today, and SIBA. Ms. Monroe has received numerous awards, including several Readers’ Choice Awards, RT Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, and was featured at the National Festival of the Book. In 2011 The Butterfly’s Daughter won the International Book Award for Green Fiction. Fellow New York Times bestselling author Pat Conroy has said of Ms. Monroe’s writing, “Every book that Mary Alice Monroe has written has felt like a homecoming to me.”

Mary Alice Monroe is an active conservationist/environmentalist who serves on the Board of the South Carolina Aquarium, The Leatherback Trust, and Charleston Literacy Volunteers. She is a frequent speaker at book festivals, conferences, and private events.

I don't have time to read The Butterfly’s Daughter. May I still attend a Pioneer Book Club event? Yes, we encourage you to call your area hostess and reserve a space to enjoy spending time with other Wesleyan women in your city.

I live in a big city and have limited space in my home. How large a group would I be hosting? We suggest that attendees to book club events be limited to no more than 20 alumnae at each event. We anticipate having multiple Pioneer Book Club events in larger cities to accommodate all alumnae who are interested in participating.  Each event will have its own R.S.V. P. date.

What kind of refreshments should I serve? Light refreshments are the best, but selections are up to each individual hostess and her friends. Coffee and dessert is always a good choice.

What kind of resources will Wesleyan provide? Each hostess will receive a Pioneer Book Club Package that will include: name tags, sign-in sheets, discussion questions, contact information forms, a door prize, book marks, and event evaluation forms.

How will Pioneer Book Club be promoted?  The Alumnae Office will promote Pioneer Book Club through e-invitations, emails, and social media, and will provide hostesses with resources for events.

Where can I buy a copy of The Butterfly’s Daughter? You can purchase your copy of The Butterfly’s Daughter online via Barnes and Noble or Amazon