In the Time of the Butterflies

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In the Time of the Butterflies audiobook

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Review #1

In the Time of the Butterflies audiobook free

Oh. My. Goodness. This is an exceptional book. This is a book thatbit by bitwill suck you into the story. You will feel you are a part of it. (And that means you won’t be able to stop readingjust so you know that up front.)

This is a story about the power of the human spirit to do what is right for humanity under the most terrifying circumstances. This is a story about the power of smart, strong and confident young women to battle the worst kind of evil.

The Mirabal sisters, Patria, Ded, Minerva, and Mara Teresa, were born to a farming family in the Dominican Republic in the 1920s and 1930s. It was while they were in a convent boarding school that they first learned of the brutality of dictator Rafael Trujillo, who was responsible for between 20,000 and 30,000 deaths of Dominicans and Haitians. With Minerva taking the fearless lead, Patria and Mara Teresa (all three of whom were married with children), do their part to battle the man nicknamed El Jefe. Taking on the same underground name of ‘Mariposa,” the three become known as The Butterflies. And many Dominicans secretly supported them, doing what they could to assist the women and keep them safe. This isn’t a spoiler because it’s history: The three, along with their driver, were violently assassinated. But their murders were not in vain, because it was the beginning of Trujillo’s downfall and eventual assassination. And their legend lives on today.

While this is a vitally important book to read, it is more than that. It is also an engrossing and expertly-crafted novel. The sisters take turns chapter-by-chapter narrating their own story with passion and grace, wisdom and wit. Author Julia lvarez has taken the bare bones of history and with brilliant storytelling has transformed dry facts into something profound and provocative. Written 25 years ago, the story is still fresh, vibrant and point-on for the times in which we now live.


Review #2

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I have read Ms. Alvarez’ other book, How The Garcia Girls lost their accents, and it definitely was not my cup of tea. I had to read it in the fall for school and was not a huge fan of the story. This book,however, is another story. I loved how all of the characters were so different and relatable, with many layers unfolding as the novel continued on, as as the drama built up until the climax. I originally had to read this book for summer reading, and was disappointed; but I am so lucky that I read this book. I have annotated my first copy, then bought a second. I just think the Mirabel sisters are amazing, especially for someone as myself who had no idea about the DR and it’s history. This was my first book of the summer, and the first chapter definitely sets in. This is the kind of book where you take in every single word and it paints a beautiful picture in your mind, which is what Julia has done here. I highly recommend this book, and also the discussion guide included also gives great points to think and talk about. Long live the Mariposas!!


Review #3

Audiobook In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

I had the distinct pleasure of reading this while visiting Santo Domingo,, Dominican Republic. It did not disappoint! The cover gives away a significant spoiler…three of the four main characters are assassinated. But, reading their stories, told in four separate voices from their youth into adulthood is powerful. After reading the book, I read the wiki page on the Mirabel family and the book plays close to the actual facts. Descendants of the survivors are still alive and productive in this emerging country.


Review #4

Audio In the Time of the Butterflies narrated by Alma Cuervo Bianca Carnacho Melanie Martinez Noemi de la Puente

I’m afraid I found the writing – putting words in the mouths of the teenage girls, especially – did not make them seem real to me. All young girls write insipidly, so this may have been realistic, but it lessened the impact of the tragedy for me. These were real young women – who cared deeply about a movement for freedom from dictatorship – but that just did come through, due to the choice of voice used by the author. It diminished their loss for me. It became maudlin.


Review #5

Free audio In the Time of the Butterflies – in the audio player below

I’m ashamed to admit that I had no idea about the history of the Dominican Republic. Obviously, this book is a mix of fact and fiction, but it still gave a history of the country before and during the Trujillo regime.

Julia Alvarez takes us through the early years of the four Mirabal sisters into adulthood, where they all became involved in politics. At different times, at least two of the sisters and three of their husbands were jailed for their work against Trujillo’s dictatorship. In 1960, three of the sisters were found dead, supposedly the result of a car accident. One sister, Dede, was not with the rest on that trip and she survives.

I think that Alvarez is a gifted storyteller for the most part. My issues were that there were some places that could have been cut, as they didn’t add to the story. I also would have loved more information on Dede, as she still survives. I imagine that must have been horrible for her. I would love to read her book, but I haven’t found an English version of it yet.

I’m not sure how the print edition of the book is, but the Kindle edition had a ton of typos. That really detracted from the book.


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