Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.
In the Time of the Butterflies (original 1994; edition 1995)
by Julia Alvarez (Author)
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez (1994)
Top Five Books of 2014 (142)
Female Author (372)
» 9 more
Female Protagonist (529)
Books Read in 2021 (4,324)
Best Books With Sisters (113)
AP Lit (338)
No current Talk conversations about this book.
FROM AUDIOBOOKS.COM: 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.
Four women beautifully narrate the chapters told by each of the Mirabal sisters during dictator Trujillo’s reign in the DominicanRepublic. This is their tragic story from the author’s admittedly very fictionalized version of a true event. It successfully portrays Trujillo’s lust for young beautiful girls and brutality, and the rebellions and the hope for a better future. Highly recommended.
Read this for high school English class. I remember enjoying it for a "school book" :-P I suspect I would get a lot more out of it if I were to reread it now.
“When as a young girl I heard about the ‘accident,’ I could not get the Mirabals out of my mind. On my frequent trips back to the Dominican Republic, I sought out whatever information I could find about these brave and beautiful sisters who had done what few men – and only a handful of women – had been willing to do. During that terrifying thirty-one-year regime, any hint of disagreement ultimately resulted in death for the dissenter and often for members of his or her family. Yet the Mirabals had risked their lives. I kept asking myself, What gave them that special courage? It was to understand that question that I began this story…So what you find here are the Mirabals of my creation, made up but, I hope, true to the spirit of the real Mirabals.” – Julia Alvarez, A Postscript, In the Time of the Butterflies
Historical fiction based on the real lives of the four Mirabal sisters living under the repressive dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, primarily set during the late 1940s to 1960. As the book opens, we understand that three of the four sisters have died. In 1994, the surviving sister, Dedé, is interviewed by a Dominican American writer to find out what happened. Each sister takes a turn narrating part of the story, giving the reader a glimpse into their differing personalities and reasons for getting involved in revolutionary activities. The sisters are the mariposas, Spanish for butterflies, referenced in the title.
This book provides an abundance of information about what life was like in the Dominican Republic under Trujillo. The characters are well-defined. The author uses a number of different perspectives in telling their stories, which at times seemed a bit of an odd choice, especially since only one of the characters is still living. On the plus side, it gives the reader a more fully formed picture of what the women valued and what they feared, enabling the reader to understand their motivations and actions. The author is skilled in holding the reader’s attention, despite knowing in advance how it will end. The Mirabal sisters are well-known in the Dominican Republic and this book is a beautiful tribute to their memory, bringing their dramatic, tragic, and heroic, story to a wider audience.
From the summary:
"In the Time of the Butterflies is based on the real lives of the Mirabal sisters, three of whom were murdered by agents of the Dominican Republic dictator Trujillo. Their story is told in brief sections, each narrated by one of the sisters. Despite their very strong family ties, the sisters are very different individuals. Patria, the eldest, is absorbed, initially, by her religion and in raising her children. Bélgica Adela (Dedé), next in age, is reliable, capable, and careful to please. Minerva, the third, is the family firebrand—the theorist and activist who helps found an underground movement against the regime and politicizes her sisters. María Teresa (Mate) is “the baby,” nine years younger than her closest sister, who joins the movement, captivated by the romance of being a freedom fighter. The girls live with their mother and father in the rural town of Ojo de Agua, where the family has land and a little store. Exposed to the sexual advances of Trujillo and the corruption, injustice, and violence of his regime, the sisters—starting with Minerva—all eventually involve themselves in revolutionary activities. Their husbands are arrested and imprisoned, but that does not keep the sisters quiet. Three of the sisters are murdered during a return trip from their husbands’ prison. They are venerated in death and become legendary figures."
Another dictator supported by the imperial power. I identified with Minerva, out of all the sisters. I loved how they supported each other, despite a culture that caters to machos, and suffocatingly oppresses women. Their own father, who was at times a good man, went every day to the shack of a widow of one of his farmworkers, and created four new human beings with this woman, who lived on his own property. I admit that I don't know if that part is true of the real Mirabal family.
Belongs to Publisher Series
Astrea [Giunti] (61)
Has the adaptation
Has as a student's study guide
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (1)
25th Anniversary Edition "A magnificent treasure for all cultures and all time." --St. Petersburg Times It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leónidas Trujillo's dictatorship. It doesn't have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas--the Butterflies. In this extraordinary novel, the voices of all four sisters--Minerva, Patria, María Teresa, and the survivor, Dedé--speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from secret crushes to gunrunning, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo's rule. Through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez's imagination, the martyred Butterflies live again in this novel of courage and love, and the human costs of political oppression.
No library descriptions found.
Amazon Kindle (0 editions)
Audible (0 editions)
CD Audiobook (0 editions)
Project Gutenberg (0 editions)
Google Books — Loading...
Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
Is this you?
Become a LibraryThing Author.
An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.