2021 Book Feature: The Butcher Shop Girl


The Butcher Shop Girl is a compelling memoir of resilience and persistence that captures the vivacious spirit of a small-town girl determined to succeed by any means necessary.



The Butcher Shop Girl begins with Carmen’s unique coming-of-age as she’s ripped from her extended family after her Catholic parents’ divorce. Learning to conquer unusual places in the name of survival, Carmen spends her childhood working in her mother’s slaughterhouse in prairie Alberta, tearing through flesh and getting up to trouble. To escape a violent home, she bounces from house to house, working on the family farm, and eventually in the oil patch.


At eighteen, Carmen’s competitive craving for money and independence leads her to a career as an exotic dancer. Starting out in seedy small-town dives, she quickly earns her place in high-end clubs throughout North America, becoming an elite world-travelling entertainer. Carmen lives the high life and makes big money. She parties with the Hells Angels and falls in love with a sexy U.S. drug enforcement agent—effortlessly walking the line of two extreme worlds. But when run-ins with premium organized crime land her in Bolivia, she realizes she’s gone too far, and the only thing that can free her is to ask her estranged family for help.


The Butcher Shop Girl is a compelling memoir of resilience and persistence that captures the vivacious spirit of a small-town girl determined to succeed by any means necessary.


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