• Sahar Abdulaziz

Book Review: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez


In the Time of the Butterflies is a stunning and timely read full of description, metaphor, and warning. Alvarez takes us back in time and forward––seamlessly, allowing the reader a slender glimpse into a world suffocated by out-of-control despots, malignant narcissists, cowardice, prejudice, loss, and yes, uncompromised bravery.

This is an important story, but equally a forewarning, for the reach of fascism and dictatorial power is never too far away. And by the time it has taken a stronghold, the losses felt and experienced will be immeasurable.


"Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story of the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.
From the author ofHow 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 Butterfliesis 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 dissidence is uncovered.
In the Time of the Butterflies is an American Library Association Notable Book and a 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award nominee."

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