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Book Club Discussion with the Author

May 12, 2022
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Rachel Mans McKenny | The Butterfly Effect


Beaverdale Books’ two monthly book clubs will cohost a discussion with Rachel Mans McKenny, this year’s All Iowa Reads author.

 All A Man Called Ove meets Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project in this rollicking tale of a grumpy introvert, her astonishing lack of social conduct and empirical data-driven approach to people and relationships.

“A warm, winning debut from a talented new Midwestern voice.”
—J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest

“Delightfully off-kilter…[Lovably-flawed] Greta’s comically critical point of view interrogates midwestern norms and gendered stereotypes in a story that explores the legacy of familial dysfunction. Come for the butterflies, and stay for Mans McKenny’s acerbic authorial eye which examines the complexities of the Midwest and its quiet dramas.”
—Rachel Yoder, award-winning author of Nightbitch

“I loved it. Rachel Mans McKenny has given us a lovably grumpy and unfiltered heroine. As a reader, you’ll undergo your own metamorphosis and realize how much you needed this story of a PhD who’s an EQ underachiever, who can quote Star Trek’s Prime Directive but is refreshingly not adorkable, and who’ll rescue a silverfish before figuring out how to rescue herself. The Butterfly Effect gives us an emotional magnifying glass to recognize the smallest moments of what it means to be human and to outgrow our chrysalis to become someone more, maybe even someone with wings.”
—Faith Salie, Emmy-winning contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning and author of Approval Junkie

Is there such a thing as an anti-social butterfly? If there were, Greta Oto would know about it–and totally relate. An entomologist, Greta far prefers the company of bugs to humans, and that’s okay, because people don’t seem to like her all that much anyway, with the exception of her twin brother, Danny. When she lands a research gig in the rainforest, she leaves it all behind.

When Danny suffers an aneurysm, Greta abandons her research and hurries back to the Midwest to be there for her brother. Coming home means confronting all that she left behind, including her lousy soon-to-be sister-in-law, her estranged mother, and her ex-boyfriend Brandon, who runs the butterfly conservatory in town. Dissertation woes, mixed with romantic and family drama, create chaos in Greta’s perfectly catalogued and compartmentalized world. Greta will have to ask herself if she has the courage to open up for the people she loves, and for those who want to love her.

The Butterfly Effect has been chosen as the All Iowa Reads book for 2022.  It is an unconventional tale of self-discovery, navigating relationships, and how sometimes it takes stepping outside of our comfort zone to find what we need the most.

About the Author…


Rachel Mans McKenny is a writer and humorist from the Midwest, recently published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Elle Magazine, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, and The New York Times. She also co-hosts the literary matchmaking podcast Blind Date with a Book. The Butterfly Effect is her first novel.

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