In The Time Of The Butterflies


How did I get it?:
I borrowed it.


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.


In The Time Of The Butterflies is the story of the famous Mirabel sisters who fought against Rafael Trujillo during his dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. The book is based on the real life history of this period, although Julia Alvarez has developed the Mirabels in a way in which she hopes it shows the spirit of the sisters.

I thought the book started really well, beginning with the only surviving sister recounting their tale. However, towards the middle of the book I began to get a bit bogged down and confused about what sister I was reading about. It didn’t feel that each sister had their own unique voice aside from Minerva. Minerva’s character was definitely the better developed. The book is fast-paced covering an awful lot of events throughout the sisters’ lives. I think if the pace was slower, I would’ve felt differently.

That said, the book was heart-breaking and very well written and kept me wanting to read more although I knew it didn’t end well.

Would I recommend it?:

Reading next:
The Abigail Affair- Timothy Frost

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