Review: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

in the time of the butterflies julia alvarezRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Historical Fiction

Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story of the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.

I picked up this book after recommendation from Michelle’s Custom-Made TBR (thank you, Chelle!). And it was such a great recommendation, this is an incredible book that I think deserves to be talked about a lot more. The Mirabal sisters are three incredible women, each one very different from another but bound by a beautiful friendship and unshakable loyalty to one another. Each one of them starts seeing the wrongness of the dictatorship (which they grew up with and were taught was perfect and good) and joining the revolutions, eventually becoming symbols of courage and defiance.

I really, really enjoyed this. The storytelling isn’t the absolute best, but you get used to it, and I was so fascinated by the story I couldn’t but give this 4 stars. If the writing had been more to my liking, it would have been a solid 5, but still it was a wonderful read. If you want to read more Latinx books, this is a really great one, and the author has published this last April her first adult novel in 15 years, which I immediately added to my TBR.

The story is told by Dedé starting in 1994, as she recounts the events of the sisters’ lives from childhood until that terrible day in 25th of November 1960. She keeps getting asked, all these years, how come she is the only surviving sister, and she’s been living with the pain, the loneliness and guilt over being the only one alive since then. She was left alive, she says, to tell their stories. This is specially heartbreaking when you realize that Dedé herself helped with the creation of this book, which is a historical fiction but feels very true. I often forgot this was fictionalized at all.

The Mirabal sisters are incredible and their story is really worth knowing.

6 thoughts on “Review: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

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