Flashback Friday · Weekly Themes

Flashback Friday (May 12)

FLASHBACK FRIDAY (BLUE)

Today’s Flashback Friday featured book is

EN EL TIEMPO DE LAS MARIPOSAS by Julia Alvarez!

This is another book that I read for school that was incredibly eye opening for me. In the Time of the Butterflies was the first look I had into the Dominican Republic and the horrors faced there during the 60’s.

The story is historical fiction, and the author took some liberties in plotting out the lives of las mariposas, but the harsh realities are all based in fact and are something we all should know about and be aware of.

I still have my battered copy from high school sitting on my bookshelves.

The Book

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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.

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 and4990183 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.

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