In the Time of the Butterflies

Front Cover
Algonquin Books, Jan 1, 2010 - Fiction - 339 pages
162 Reviews
It is November 25, 1960, and the bodies of three beautiful, convent-educated sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. El Caribe, the official newspaper, reports their deaths as an accident. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Raphael Leonidas Trujillo's dictatorship. It doesn't have to. Everyone knows of Las Mariposas - "The Butterflies." Now, three decades later, Julia Alvarez, also a daughter of the Dominican Republic and long haunted by these sisters, immerses us in a tangled and dangerous moment in Hispanic Caribbean history to tell their story in the only way it can truly be understood - through fiction. In this brilliantly characterized novel, the voices of all four sisters - Minerva, Patria, Maria Teresa, and Dede - speak across the decades, to tell their own stories - from hair ribbons to gunrunning to prison torture - and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo's rule. The Butterflies were extraordinary women. Minerva, once the object of the dictator's desire, had dared to publicly slap his face. Devout Patria found her calling to the uprising through the church. Alluring - and vain - Maria Teresa joined in pursuit of romance. Only Dede, the practical one, the most diligent in her duty to family and tradition, kept apart. And only she survived to see that their names were remembered. Now, through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez's imagination, the martyred Butterflies live again. And Dede joins them as a heroine of equal courage.
  

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There was some good writing. - Goodreads
Similarly, I was very disappointed about the ending. - Goodreads
Riveting and easy to read. - Goodreads
I feel her passion coming through in her storytelling. - Goodreads
Fantastic writing style. - Goodreads
I really enjoyed Alvarez' style of writing. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nosajeel - LibraryThing

A beautiful novel about the Mirabal sisters, who were brutally murdered by the waning Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic. It is told in chapters narrated in the very different voices of the ... Read full review

Review: In the Time of the Butterflies

User Review  - Emma Ligtenberg - Goodreads

When I first decided to read this novel for my independent reading project, I was excited because the reviews were great, claiming it had an intriguing climax and was a complete page turner. However ... Read full review

All 15 reviews »

Contents

CHAPTER ONEDedé
CHAPTER TWOMinerva
CHAPTER THREEThis little book belongs to María Teresa
CHAPTER FOURPatria
II
CHAPTER FIVEDedé
CHAPTER SIXMinerva
CHAPTER SEVENMaría Teresa
CHAPTER NINEDedé
CHAPTER TENPatria
CHAPTER ELEVENMaría Teresa
CHAPTER TWELVEMinerva
Epilogue
A Postscript
Chasing the Butterflies
Reading and Discussion Guide

CHAPTER EIGHTPatria
III

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About the author (2010)

Julia Alvarez was born in New York City on March 27, 1950 and was raised in the Dominican Republic. Before becoming a full-time writer, she traveled across the country with poetry-in-the-schools programs and then taught at the high school level and the college level. In 1991, she earned tenure at Middlebury College and published her first book How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, which won the PEN Oakland/Jefferson Miles Award for excellence in 1991. Her other works include In the Time of the Butterflies, The Other Side of El Otro Lado, and Once upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA.

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