Reach & Read: In the Time of the Butterflies


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

This novel was consumed upon recommendation by a bookie co-worker. Little did I know, this novel, published in 1994 (Wow!), has ties to Cuba. I read this shortly after returning from our eye-opening tour this fall, with imagery and stories still fresh in my mind. The story is told from a modern day perspective but set in mid-twentieth century revolutionary Dominican Republic. The Mirabel sisters were real, not fictional, underground political activists- Las Mariposas (butterflies). This story is fictional, however. It is written with a clear voice and the personalities of each sister are well developed and ring true throughout their lives. I loved the character development and display of grit, wit and power of family.

Two great quotes:

“I am all flan fingers …”

“May I never experience all that is possible to get used to”….

Cuba Connection? Ernesto Che Guevara was pivotal to the Cuban Revolution and also the Dominican Republic in the 50s and 60s. He is mentioned as part of the hope and vision woven into the Mirabel sisters’ story. It is not a spoiler alert to share that they were assassinated by the Domincan DictatorTrujillo, on November 25th, 1960. November 25th is now recognized as Orange Day or International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.


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