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In the Time of the Butterflies (original 1994; edition 2010)

by Julia Alvarez

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2,976761,921 (4.08)134
Member:sruszala
Title:In the Time of the Butterflies
Authors:Julia Alvarez
Info:Algonquin Books (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez (1994)

Recently added byjrobison, Keelz09, bennyisbig, private library, Sietselj, cayeaman, ecpenguin, hamm4d
  1. 30
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (weener)
    weener: Oscar Wao mentions In the Time of the Butterflies in a footnote. Both dealing so gracefully with the Trujillo regime, they seem like complementary books.
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English (70)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  English (75)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
One of my favorite books. In the Time of the Butterflies discusses very important women who made a huge difference during a very important time in history that is not talked about enough. The book is extremely well written and the plot advances in a way that makes the reader want to keep reading until they finish. The portrayals of the sisters are so honest and raw that it's impossible not to feel heartbroken when they die. Julia Alvarez is fantastic and as novels dealing with important historic events go, this is one of the best general consumption ones on the market.
-EH
  BtB_Library | Aug 9, 2016 |
I found this book to be very interesting. My granddaughters used to watch a Barbie Video when they were visiting about Mariposa. I never realized at the time that there were real mariposa's and that they were four sisters who were revolutionaries. The author tells you at the book that this is just a work of fiction, that she is not a biographer and had difficulty finding information and that she used license with time. The time period covered was 1930 to 1961. The story is told by a surviving sister about the past so it jumps back and forth. I learned a lot. The author came to the US with her family in 1960 as exiles. ( )
  Kristelh | Jul 16, 2016 |
Review: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.

The story is about a fictional account, based on facts, of a revolutionary period in the Dominican Republic. This is an excellent story and gives a realistic picture of the life of the Mirabel sisters and takes you through their childhood, schooling, and their flight into maturing women who are memorialized every year in the Caribbean. The story wraps itself around the sister’s lives, and is laced with religious faith and family strength, and sisterly bonds that could never be ripped apart. I love to read fiction stories where I learn the historical events about the people who actually existed and made a difference despite the turmoil and suffering they went through. I learned of a period of dictatorship I never heard of especially when it comes down to history I strive for it.

The book spans several decades and is divided into first-person narratives by the four very different sisters. The first part of the book involves accounts of their growth from girls into young women, and eventually into revolutionaries. The second part of the book was well organized to where the author expresses how and why these very ordinary, down-to-earth people resisted an overwhelming and oppressive regime. Also, Alvarez wrote this book as knowledge against future political corruption by using her unique style of writing using symbolism showing incredibly the strength of mentality and emotional presence of the underground operations, stimulating these four sisters to follow a cause they believed in and followed it to the end…It was interesting how different and diverse the four sister’s personalities were; Patria, the oldest was pious and the most hopeful one, Minerva, she was a feminist who was strong and feisty, Maria Theresa was sensitive, the giver and yet willful and Dede, the unsure yet the strong one. As the sister’s commitment turns to tragedy the author captures the atmosphere of what it’s like to live in a police state, in which the population exists under the threat of bodily harm and horror that dare not be acknowledge especially during the four sisters courageous desperation.

After Rafael Trujillo took over the country for many years with the assistance of the military and began his campaign of making himself somewhat of a demigod, even renaming the nation’s capital from Santo Domingo to, “Trujillo City”. He was known for his ruthlessness and ability to make his political enemies disappear without a trace. Trujillo’s regime was one of the most brutal in Latin American history. During this time, four sisters unified the Dominican resistance in trying to bring freedom and justice to that nation, while their husbands suffered in the nation’s worst prison. The stories of political prisoners were hard to read about and some were emotionally heart wrenching. The Mirabal sisters faced uncertain dangers and repression from Trujillo’s henchmen. Trujillo had already met one of the Mirabal sisters before his ascent to power, and getting rejected by her, it seemed like the main motives to due harm to her and her sister’s was vengeance.

Rafael Leonidas Trujillo’s dictatorship and his spies and enforcers who committed heinous crimes that he ordered ended in 1961. A great story with some slow pace reading but a very enjoyable and educating.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
In the Time of the Butterflies is just too perfect of a book. It is a story based on the Mirabal sisters, three of them were killed by the Dominican Republic dictator Trujillo for being part of the resistance against him. The book is told from the surviving sister's point of view, Dede, recalling the events that took place to a interviewer from the US and also told from each of the sisters, Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa telling their childhood and their role in the resistance leading up to their deaths. The author explains that their personalities, some events and dates were created to make the story. This book teaches an important part of Dominican history while being a very captivating story about the real women who stood up to a dictator.
  GrlIntrrptdRdng | May 28, 2016 |
good sisters S. America
injustices

Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.
  christinejoseph | Mar 22, 2016 |
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She is plucking her bird of paradise of its dead branches, leaning around the plant every time she hears a car.
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Book description
On a deserted mountain road in the Dominican Republic in 1960, three young women from a pious Catholic family were assassinated after visiting their husbands who had been jailed as suspected rebel leaders. The Mirabal sisters, thus martyred, became mythical figures in their country, where they are known as Las Mariposas (the butterflies). Three decades later, Julia Alvarez, daughter of the Dominican Republic and author of the acclaimed How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, brings the Mirabal sisters back to life in this extraordinary novel. Each of the sisters speaks in her own voice, beginning as young girls in the 1940s, their stories vary from hair ribbons to gun-running to prison torture. Their story is framed by their surviving sister who tells her own tale of suffering and dedication to the memory of Las Mariposas. This inspired portrait of four women is a haunting statement about the human cost of political oppression, and is destined to take its place alongside Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and Allende's The House of the Spirits as one of the great 20th-century Latin American novels.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452274427, Paperback)

From the author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents comes this tale of courage and sisterhood set in the Dominican Republic during the rise of the Trujillo dictatorship. A skillful blend of fact and fiction, In the Time of the Butterflies is inspired by the true story of the three Mirabal sisters who, in 1960, were murdered for their part in an underground plot to overthrow the government. Alvarez breathes life into these historical figures--known as "las mariposas," or "the butterflies," in the underground--as she imagines their teenage years, their gradual involvement with the revolution, and their terror as their dissentience is uncovered.

Alvarez's controlled writing perfectly captures the mounting tension as "the butterflies" near their horrific end. The novel begins with the recollections of Dede, the fourth and surviving sister, who fears abandoning her routines and her husband to join the movement. Alvarez also offers the perspectives of the other sisters: brave and outspoken Minerva, the family's political ringleader; pious Patria, who forsakes her faith to join her sisters after witnessing the atrocities of the tyranny; and the baby sister, sensitive Maria Teresa, who, in a series of diaries, chronicles her allegiance to Minerva and the physical and spiritual anguish of prison life.

In the Time of the Butterflies is an American Library Association Notable Book and a 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award nominee.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:32 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republica in 1960, this novel tells the story the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands. On a deserted mountain road in the Dominican Republic in 1960, three young women from a pious Catholic family were assassinated after visiting their husbands who had been jailed as suspected rebel leaders. The Mirabal sisters, thus martyred, became mythical figures in their country, where they are known as Las Mariposas (the butterflies). Three decades later, Julia Alvarez, daughter of the Dominican Republic and author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, brings the Mirabal sisters back to life in this novel. Each of the sisters speaks in her own voice; beginning as young girls in the 1940s, their stories vary from hair ribbons to gun-running to prison torture. Their story is framed by their surviving sister who tells her own tale of suffering and dedication to the memory of Las Mariposas. This portrait of four women is a haunting statement about the human cost of political oppression.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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