In the Time of Butterflies
by Julia Alvarez

Alvarez.ButterfliesA compelling story of four sisters during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, written in the first and third person, by and about the sisters.

Opening paragraphsShe is plucking her bird of paradise of its dead branches, leaning around the plant every time she hears a car.  The woman will never find the old house behind the hedge of towering hibiscus at the bend of the dirt road.  Not a gringa dominicana in a rented car with a road map asking for street names!  Dedé had taken the call over at the little museum this morning.

            Could the woman please come over and talk to Dedé about the Mirabal sisters?  . . .  The sisters are not known [in the U.S.], for which she is also sorry for it is a crime that should not be forgotten, these unsung heroines of the underground, et cetera . . .  Oh dear, another one.

Quotes from critics“A gorgeous and sensitive novel . . . A compelling story of courage, patriotism and familial devotion.” (People); “A fascinating and powerful picture of a family and a nation’s history.” (The Dallas Morning News);  “Imagination and history in sublime combination . . . Read this book for the novel it is. Read this book for the place it takes you. Read this book and take courage.” (The Denver Post)

BioJulia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She has written six novels, as well as nonfiction, poetry, and children’s books for children and young adults. A writer-in-residence at Middlebury College, Alvarez established Alta Gracia, an organic coffee farm–literacy arts center, in the Dominican Republic.