Susan Classen and her companions struggle toward safety through bullets and bombs, then--
"Just before Guarjila we passed a dozen vultures. I noticed them from far off and was afraid we would find another cadaver in the road. . . . As we drew near, the vultures reluctantly flew to a nearby fence; I realized hundreds of yellow and white butterflies danced in that same area. We passed through their graceful flight."
Classen shares her search for meaning amid the life-and-death contradictions symbolized by the vultures and the butterflies.
Vultures shadow a decade that begins with her mother's death, sees her enter El Salvador's agony, and ends with her father's death.
Yet butterflies also dance as Classen finds within the darkness a God who turns death into life and weakness into strength.