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Book Review: In the Time of the Butterflies

Title: In the Time of the Butterflies
Author: Julia Alvarez
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Reviewer: Julia


"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."
Who are these sisters? Why are they dead? What lead them to such a horrible death?
"The official state newspaper reports their death 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 Leonidas Trujillo's dictatorship."
 Where was the fourth sister? Who is this dictator? 
"It doesn't have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas--the Butterflies."
That text is from the summary on the back of my copy of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, a book so great that I based several of my passwords for various things after it.

This amazing novel is based off of the true story of Las Mariposas: Patria, Minerva, Dede, and Maria Teresa "Mate". The book leads readers through the stories of the four sisters using alternating points of views from their youth to the very end. (Again, this plot also contains deaths.) It is interesting to learn about the different personalities and experiences of the four sisters and see how these affect their viewpoint on the dictatorship and the revolution that is stirring. There's the religious Patria, the determined Minerva, the cautious Dede, and the youngest but helpful sister Mate. However, the work that they do is dangerous, and, as seen in the book, lead to awful things.

This novel isn't just a book about action and doing what's right. Actually, what is "right" is questioned throughout the plot of the book. Additionally, it is a book about character, and like How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, you can see the bonds in family, and how they stick or crumble during hard times.

I extremely recommend reading this book. Even though I read it last summer, I still feel that I love it, and I sometimes find myself going back to it to read a page or two, imagining that I am Patria or Minerva or Dede or Mate, fighting for what I believe in.

The Butterflies fought for what they believed in. So did Clara in Audacity. Make sure you read the review on another amazing book on fighting for what you believe in!
"One of the reasons why I loved this book so much was because...It is written in free verse! When books are written in free verse they are always so beautiful! The same goes for this book. I always love to read the poems and to think about them (there is usually something more behind poems). I also liked to notice the patterns in the lines of free verse. 
Clearly, the structure of the book certainly made it much more enjoyable for me. Still, I liked it for other reasons, such as..." Read more

Comments

  1. Sounds like a very good book! I really should read it!

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