Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

Brimming with warmth and vitality, this new novel by the author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (1991) is a paean to the power of female courage. The butterflies are four smart and lovely Dominican sisters growing up during Trujillo's despotic regime. While her parents try desperately to cling to their imagined island of security in a swelling sea of fear and intimidation, Minerva ... Read full review

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User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

Compelling fictionalized story of "las Mariposas" - sisters who "died in a car accident" but were actually murdered for opposing the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic. Alvarez attempt at ... Read full review

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User Review  - pomo58 - LibraryThing

This account of the Mirabal sisters during the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic is a moving fictionalized telling that focuses on the humanity of the sisters more so than the politics. The ... Read full review

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User Review  - lucybrown - LibraryThing

This book is a page turning, heart-felt tribute to the Mirabal sisters, the martyred Mariposas of the Revolution which ultimately led to the end of the Trujillo dictatorship in The Dominican Republic ... Read full review

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User Review  - cameling - LibraryThing

During the 1950s, many people disappeared, were executed or had the misfortune to suffer fatal 'accidents' during the reign of Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic. This is a fictitious ... Read full review

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User Review  - Sluper1 - LibraryThing

In the time of butterflies is a fictional story about four real persons, the Mirabal sisters. They are harassed and persecuted all while their families suffer retaliation from the military ... Read full review

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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

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User Review  - LisaMaria_C - LibraryThing

In her Postscript, Alvarez wrote that she wanted the book to "immerse my readers in an epoch in the life of the Dominican Republic." I think she succeeded magnificently. She tells the story of the ... Read full review

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User Review  - bluepigeon - LibraryThing

As I was reading this book, I thought a good 4 stars... Now that I am finished, I will give it 5 and the reason is certainly the account of the surviving sister, Dede, at the end. Of the four sisters ... Read full review

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When choosing between family and culture, what is the right choice? In the Dominican Republic, between the years of 1930 and 1961, Dictator Rafael Trujillo ruled with aggression and fear. No person was safe from his fists, and anyone who crossed him would suffer, along with their family. In the Time of the Butterflies tells of three brave sisters who rose up to stop him. While they themselves did not kill him, their spirit and sacrifices played the part.
Minerva was the second born, but the leader of the group. Her determination often put the sisters in trouble, but helped save the country. Patria was the eldest, she was reluctant to join. Eventually hope of a better life for her children swayed her. Maria Teresa, the youngest by nine years, was eager to join, and even met her husband at a rebel meeting. The third born sister was Dede. She did not take part in the revolution, choosing her family instead. She focused on the present instead of the future and tried her hardest to stay uninvolved. She was the only sister left after November 25th, 1960. This historical date is the death date of the three sisters, who were called The Butterflies. This nickname showed how they had changed, first just girls born to obey their fathers and husbands, but changing into independant revolution leaders, even if they themselves did not realize it. This real life story starts when Minerva meets Sinita, a friend from school. Sinita was a personal victim of Trujillo’s wrath, all her male family members dead. When she introduced this evidence to Minerva, she was filled with vengeance, once even trying to shoot Trujillo at a play. These thoughts of Sinita’s followed Minerva through her life, blooming her into a rebel after gambling with Trujillo and winning the right to attend law school. After attending university and being denied her right to practice law, MInerva married and became a mother. The thought of her children growing up in a fear-ruled country shattered her. Soon she became even more active with the movement, with her youngest sister at her side.Trujillo became aware of this and decided to end it. Minerva, Maria Teresa, both of their husbands and Patria’s husband were thrown in jail. The women stayed there for seven months. The husbands stayed for much longer.
When Minerva and her sister were in jail ,their story of fighting the government became aware. People began joining, one being their sister Patria, and the nickname Butterflies were given to them. After jail the tried their hardest to stay out of trouble, wishing for the safety of their husbands. November 25th, 1960, the three sisters went to visit their husbands in jail. Passes to visit had been gifted to them for their good behavior. This particular visit would be their last. Upon the journey home, their car was jumped, and they were all beaten and killed. This included the innocent taxi driver. The car was pushed over a cliff with them inside, faking an accident. This was the turning point for the rest of the revolution. Riots began and merely Seven/six months later, shortly after their murderers were jailed, Trujillo was assassinated. Chaos went on for another few months, giving time for a new government to be established.
The book is narrated by Dede, taking place 36 years after the deaths. As the foster mother of her sisters’ children she stands in her past decision, choosing her family over the movement. Yet she also believes that her sisters were not in the wrong, they also chose the right decision for them. In the words of Rafael Trujillo, “When you die for your country you do not die in vain.”

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