In the Time of the Butterflies
Something to Declare
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
This is the story about four sisters, three of whom came to be known by the code name Las Mariposas (the butterflies) of the Fourteenth of June Movement in the Dominican Republic. Julia Alvarez, herself a young exile from the tyranny of Trujillo, seemed compelled to write a story about the sisters. We should be no less compelled to read it because we need to understand the full cost of tyranny on the human soul.
The oldest sister, Patria Mercedes was six years old when the dictator Trujillo came to power. The sisters were real. This story is woven from their legend in the Dominican Republic. It is a vibrant story of Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa and Dede, about their home, their parents, their aunts and uncles and cousins, their friends, their loves, their youthful lives. It is a true-to-life account of the slow awakening to the increasing horrors of a brutal dictatorship.
From the pages of the diary of little Maria Teresa Mirabal we see the sweetness of life,
Dear Little Book, Minerva gives you to me today for my First Communion. You are so pretty with a mother of pearl cover and a little latch like a prayerbook. I will have such fun writing on your tissue-thin pages.turn by degrees to utter horror near the end of her life,
late night The moonlight is streaming in through our little window. I can't sleep. I am sitting up in my bunk, writing my last entry in the space left, and sobbing in the quiet way you learn in prison so you don't add to anyone else's grief.In one of my earlier posts I asked you to be brave. Here you will see what bravery truly is.
November 25th has been designated as the United Nations' Day Against the Violence Towards Women. Remember to wear a butterfly that day.