In the Time of the Butterflies (Dominican Republic)
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
I now appreciate what happened in the Dominican Republic to allow tourists to visit and enjoy this:
Julia Alvarez’s novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, tells the story of sisters who became legends in the Dominican Republic during the 1960s. Three Mirabal sisters - Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa - became part of an underground group working to overthrow the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, and in the end died at the hands of those in power. Their deaths sparked acts of courage throughout the country and an eventual end to Trujillo’s abusive and violent rule.
I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know about the Mirabal sisters although Alvarez’s book was even turned into a movie with Salma Hayek!
Alvarez’s is a work of historical fiction and she uses the voices of the three sisters - along with the one sister Dedé who survived - to tell us about their motivations, desires, and loyalty to their family, the cause, and each other.
This is a book I’d recommend to anyone looking for a story of empowerment, passion, and risking it all for what’s right. The Mirabal sisters are celebrated in the Dominican Republic and you can learn more about them through their museum, Casa Museo Hermanas Mirabal. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, recognized every year by the United Nations on November 25, is in honor of the Mirabal sisters. I know I’ll be taking a moment this year to thank them and all the other selfless women who work for the greater good in our world.