In the Time of the Butterflies

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Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1994 - Fiction - 325 pages
117 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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Alvarez's writing is good, maybe even great. - Goodreads
Similarly, I was very disappointed about the ending. - Goodreads
Got the rest of the plot summary in class. - Goodreads

Review: In the Time of the Butterflies

User Review  - Sydney - Goodreads

This is a great story about great women. Alvarez's writing is good, maybe even great. It is well-paced and engaging. Alvarez doesn't weigh the book down with facts and history (even though they drive ... Read full review

Review: In the Time of the Butterflies

User Review  - Jane - Goodreads

A fictionalized account of the Mirabel sisters in the Dominican Republic. Since I know little about the history of this island I knew nothing of these 4 sisters who were part of the revolutionaries ... Read full review

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Dede 1994 and circa 1943
Minerva 1938 1941 1944
Dede 1994 and 1948

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About the author (1994)

Julia Alvarez is a professor of English at Middlebury College.

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