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The Butterfly Girl is a riveting novel that ripples with truth, exploring the depths of love and sacrifice in the face of a past that cannot be left dead and buried. A year ago, Naomi, the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children, made a promise that she would not take another case until she finds the younger sister who has been missing for years. Naomi has no picture, not even a name. All she has is a vague memory of a strawberry field at night, black dirt under her bare feet as she ran for her life.

Rene Denfeld

Rene Denfeld is the author of the acclaimed novels The Child Finder and The Enchanted, as well as essays in publications such as the New York Times. Rene’s literary thriller, The Child Finder, explores themes of survival, resiliency and redemption  It received much acclaim, including a starred Library Journal review, glowing NYTBR review, and an Indie Next pick. Landing as  the #1 fiction bestseller at Powell’s within its first week, the Child Finder became a top #10 bestseller. Her third novel, The Butterfly Girl, will be published Oct 1, 2019.

Rene’s lyrical, beautiful writing is inspired by her work with sex trafficking victims and innocents in prison. Rene was the Chief Investigator at a public defender’s office and has worked hundreds of cases. In addition to her advocacy work, Rene has been a foster adoptive parent for twenty years. She was awarded the Break The Silence Award in Washington, DC in 2017 for her social justice work, and was named one of the heroic stories of the year by the New York Times. 

The child of a difficult history herself, Rene is an accomplished speaker who loves connecting with others. Rene lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is the happy mom of three kids adopted from foster care as well as other foster kids.

It’s ‘Deliverance’ encased in ice… Denfeld’s novel is indeed loaded with suspense, its resonance comes from its surprising tilt towards storytelling restraint, a rarity in this typical crackling genre. Elegiac, informative and disquieting… The novel gallops to a suitably heart-racing finish.
— New York Times Book Review
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Talks and Topics

  • The Child Finder - Author Presentation

  • The Enchanted - Author Presentation

  • How Public Libraries Saved My Life

  • Healing from Trauma

  • Surviving Abuse

  • Mass Incarceration, Public Defense and Marginalized Populations

  • What is Justice?

  • How we can Use Trauma to Heal Others and Ourselves

A glittering gem of a story—part mystery, part fairy tale, and all white-knuckled, edge-of-your-seat thriller… readers will be drawn in by Denfeld’s lyrical prose and undone by the brutal reality that Naomi uncovers, just beneath the snowy forest floor.
— Library Journal, Starred Review

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Previous & Upcoming Events:

  • May 4, 2019: Bay Area Book Festival - San Fransisco, CA

  • May 18, 2019: The Compose Conference - Oregon City, OR

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