In the Time of the Butterflies

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Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1994 - Fiction - 325 pages
129 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
Alvarez's writing is good, maybe even great. - Goodreads
I really enjoyed Alvarez' style of writing. - Goodreads
Got the rest of the plot summary in class. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

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

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

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Dede I994 and circa I943
Minerva I938 I94I I944 II
Dede I994 and I948

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About the author (1994)

Julia Alvarez is a professor of English at Middlebury College.

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