Sunday, September 4, 2011

In the Time of the Butterflies

Once four sisters - Patria, Dedé, Minerva, and Mate - lived in the Dominican Republic. They grew up during the rule of Trujillo, a ruthless dictator. Each of them became involved with revolutionaries seeking to end his regime. At the beginning of their story, we meet the living sister, Dedé, and soon learn that the other three have been murdered by Trujillo. The narration, however, is made up of all four sisters' points of view, to show their lives, their motivations, and especially their hearts.

This is an incredible piece of historical fiction that absolutely floored me. As I got towards the end, I didn't want to finish the story - I had grown to care so much about the four women that I didn't want them to be dead. Alvarez, whose family fled to the United States to escape Trujillo's rule when she was ten, has crafted a truly powerful story that will stay with me for a long time.

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