Customer Reviews for

In the Time of the Butterflies

Average Rating 4.5
( 229 )
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(138)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

A high school student who loves history!

When I read this fantastic, innovative, and well written novel, it gave me a new insight on the history of the Dominican Republic. I had never before heard of Truilljo or the Miribal sisters. Not only did it give me great information (and a great movie as well!), but ...
When I read this fantastic, innovative, and well written novel, it gave me a new insight on the history of the Dominican Republic. I had never before heard of Truilljo or the Miribal sisters. Not only did it give me great information (and a great movie as well!), but it also gave me inspiration. As a young woman, I know that I can achieve many things, just like Minerva did. I highly recommend this book for all who want a good book to read, want to learn, and want to become inspired.

posted by Anonymous on June 30, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

20 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

!

Thanks to the MANY rude, hateful inconsiderate plot spoiling posters who revealed every detail of the book, especially the fool that quoted long passages from the book...thanks for ruining the book. Each and every one of you should be banned from posting.

posted by 8888649 on February 7, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2004

    A high school student who loves history!

    When I read this fantastic, innovative, and well written novel, it gave me a new insight on the history of the Dominican Republic. I had never before heard of Truilljo or the Miribal sisters. Not only did it give me great information (and a great movie as well!), but it also gave me inspiration. As a young woman, I know that I can achieve many things, just like Minerva did. I highly recommend this book for all who want a good book to read, want to learn, and want to become inspired.

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2010

    A beautiful story

    This book was chosen for my book club. Upon reading the synopsis I felt little excitement for it. Perhaps this is why it surpassed my expectations so greatly. It was a beautifully written story about three strong sisters who fought against the law for what they believed in. You feel like part of their family as you turn the pages.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2013

    I read In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez twelve y

    I read In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez twelve years ago and it remains a favorite. This historical novel is part fact, part fiction. The setting is the Dominican Republic during the brutal and oppressive dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, who ruled from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. Alvarez chronicles the real and imagined lives of the Mirabel sisters, known as “las mariposas” or “the butterflies” because everyone in the resistant movement had false names. The book spans back and forth over the course of their childhood, teenage years, married adult lives and eventually their role in the subversive movement against Trujillo. Sadly, the book begins with three of the four sisters found dead after visiting their jailed husbands. While their deaths are intended to look like an accident, Alvarez reveals the risks these women took that eventually made them government targets.
    While I know this is a book recommendation site, I read this over a decade ago, so I’m a little hazy on the details. This is not what you want to hear when deciding on whether or not to read my recommendation, but what transpired while reading this great book is still so vivid and will prove that it is a must read.
    I have to bring you back three weeks prior to my having read In the Time of the Butterflies. For reasons that remain unknown (thank God there is no embarrassing context), I fainted in my Brooklyn apartment one February morning. Apparently I had broken the fall with my chin and my roommate found me face down with my arms at my side. My memory of the event is recorded in snapshots. I remember waking up thinking I had pretzels in my mouth, which were in fact broken teeth. Next I remember hearing my roommate calling 911. Then I remember her holding me in her lap telling me I was ok as I repeatedly told her I was fine. And then the paramedics arrived. When I foolishly asked to see a mirror in the ambulance, I saw missing teeth and a gaping hole in my chin.
    I was transported to the nearest hospital- Woodhull Hospital. I have no memory of my entrance, but my mother told me the first thing she saw when she entered was a “de-lousing” room. In short, Woodhull Hospital is a horrifying place. Here are some reviews I found online:
    “Do not go to this hospital, even if you're dying. Seriously, if you're dying, you should be in an ambulance headed to any hospital but this one. It has one of the dirtiest, scariest ERs I've ever seen.”
    “This hospital caters mostly to drunks and crack heads who need to dry out or come down. If I were to bring a child here, I would have to cover her eyes. The scene is bad enough if you're healthy, but coming here with some sort of illness or injury makes you kind of hope they just kill you. But be careful what you wish for, because it's likely that they will.”
    While at this house of horrors, I learned I had a broken and dislocated jaw (aside from smashed teeth and a busted chin) and I would have to stay a week. Upon hearing the news, I started crying. I was obviously very upset, but I was more distraught about the possibility of missing an upcoming trip to Belize.
    I spent the night in that crazy hospital, but left the next day against doctor’s orders so I could receive proper care (I had already let a dentist stitch my chin closed). Oh what a sight I must have been. I left with gauze wrapped around my head and chin, not unlike a mummy. I had no shoes, so I walked in the snow to the car in hospital booties. Once I reached the oral surgeon’s office, I started crying again. Not because of the people staring at me in horror, but because I was finally getting adequate care. This care required having my jaw snapped back into place and then wired shut for 6 WEEKS.
    Despite my liquid diet, inability to articulate, and rapidly declining weight, I was not canceling my trip to Belize with my friend Christina. My carry on suit case included cases of Ensure, a water pick, books and a bikini-everything I needed in case my luggage disappeared.
    The first book I read there was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami. I know Murakami is hailed as a talented novelist, but this book did nothing for me. My brother has a knack for recommending books that are so unbelievably not my taste. Then I started and finished In the Time of the Butteflies in a single day.
    On that day, Christina and I parked ourselves in the sand and we left once for lunch (my lunch for the week was broth, Ensure, and a Coke). The rest of the day I spent buried in my book. I used to take tanning very seriously, but on that particular day I did not re-position my chair with the changing angle of the sun because I was knee deep in the lives of the Mirabel sisters. When I tore myself away for another can of Ensure, I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror of our room and I almost fainted again. I had managed to get a really bad burn on my face- but only half of my face. It was if someone had drawn a diagonal line from the top left of my forehead to the bottom right of my chin. You could almost see the imaginary line that had been drawn on my already battered face.
    Christina promised me it really wasn’t that bad. She’s a good friend, but a liar. When we were at the hotel bar later that night, I felt a man sitting next to me sneaking glances our way. Finally he flat out asked “So what happened to your face?” And I had to answer him, through my wired shut jaw. It was not my finest hour.
    So while part of my burnt face eventually scabbed, I had at least read a fantastic book. And Julia Alvarez continues to be one of my favorite authors.

    4 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    Incredible

    I love this book. It broke my heart with it's beauty and strength!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2004

    In simple words: a VERY good book

    I recommend In the Times of the Butterflies to everyone in search of a good reading. YOU WILL LOVE THIS! When I was about to finish the book, only a few pages left, I kept going back and back to the core of the story, I did not want it to be over. It was an amazing 'so worth the reading'! A MUST READ, FOR SURE!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    I Cried

    This book is worth the tears!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2008

    A great book

    I have not read such a good book in a long time. It had a perfect mix of history with fiction. The story was interesting and told with such emotion. The characters were easy to connect and relate to. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who wants to read about strong women and men in a time and place where strength is hard to come by.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2007

    Fantastic!!

    I love this book! The author not only shows the butterflies as the martyrs they became but also as the strong, beautiful women that they were. This book is one of my favorites. A must read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2005

    Best book ever!!!!

    This made me think about thingts I have never thought of before. It is the realest historical fiction I have ever read and made me cry my eyes out... I loved it

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2003

    My all-time favorite book...

    This is one of the very, very best books I've ever read and my FAVORITE of all time...it is powerful, riveting, touching and based on a true story. A must-read!!!! If you saw the HBO movie, THE BOOK IS 110% BETTER THAN THE MOVIE!!!!!!! The movie does not do the book justice @ all!! Read the real thing.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2006

    Latina

    This book reflects the intelligence that latinas have. I'm not trying to brag because im a female but all women can show there intelligence and capability. I as a Dominican am very proud to say that i met DeDe the living sister of the four.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2013

    This is a wonderful book. I wish I could give it two ratings. Th

    This is a wonderful book. I wish I could give it two ratings. The book deserves five stars. Perfectly written, captivating characterizations, a near-perfect book. Unfortunately, the Nook version is riddled with typos. Missing periods, misscanned words (a common one is "mil" for "will," and other typos that are sometimes enough to draw me out of the story to figure out what it was supposed to say. In one case, a sentence became almost nonsensical due to a misprinting. It doesn't spoil the book for me, so I'm still giving it five stars here, but with typos on nearly every page (or at least, so it seems), I feel like I need to qualify my praise.

    The story itself, though, is one of the best I've read in a long time. If you haven't read it and you find it interesting enough that you want to check the reviews, by all means, get it. I don't think you'll be sorry.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Outstanding novel based on real people and events

    This is an extremely emotional story about 4 sisters, their husbands and family, in the Dominican Republic during the time of Trujillo. It pulls you into the story and you live during that time too. An amazing story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2011

    Highly recommend

    Based on historical events. Written from the viewpoint of each sister which gives more depth from the different perspectives.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2006

    A Change

    In the Time of The Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. This story is about the struggle between four sisters during the rule of Trujillo. In the book the sisters so threw prison and set backs. They where separated from there family and kids just to be in prison fighting for what they believe in. I would recommend this book to kids that want to know what used to go on in the past and to experience what other people went threw to be able to consider there selves free. I thought this book showed the struggles of the sisters went threw to be able to be reunited in the end they had to go threw death to be able to get freedom. I would rate this book a 5 because it shows all the fights and setbacks that really did happen. I felt inspired that the sisters stud up for what they believed in. This book made me thankful to know that there are people around me that believe in fighting for what is right.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2006

    Latina's are unified by the need of justice

    This book really shows what latin woman are capable of accomplishing once they have a real motive to lead them by. It shows we as Latina's are strong enough to face the good and bad faces of been fair and well respected. I really enjoyed the novel as well as the movie. It fills me with pride to say im a Dominican woman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2004

    amazingly and beautifully haunting

    i read this book after reading THE FARMING OF THE BONES by Edwidge Danticat (which is also a very powerful read), and i was moved to tears after reading IN THE TIME OF BUTTERFLIES. i was so touched for what they sacrificed for not only themselves but for all those on the island. this book also humanized martyrs and for that - i will recommend this beautifully written book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2004

    Very moving

    Latin American literature seems to be an untapped wealth of emotionally charged stories like this one. I have read it several times and each time I get wrapped up in it and finish it in 2 or 3 days, usually in tears. A beautiful historical fiction story based on a fascinating history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2003

    Incredible

    This book was a wonderful read. When I finished reading this book I wanted to cry out. I was angry at the inhumanity, I was proud to be from the same country as these women, and I was upset that I had never been told this story before. Wonderful book. Must read!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2003

    OUTSTANDING MUST READ

    I picked up this book from a recommended library shelf and found one of my favorite books. This book is beautifully written and gives us an insight of what those times were really like. It's sad story shows us what an aweful experience so many had to go through for the desire of freedom. A definite must read for anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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