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Book Title: Il tempo delle farfalle|
The author of the book: Julia Alvarez
ISBN 13: 9788809037878
Date of issue: 2006
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 644 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.8
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Julia Alvarez has been one of my favorite authors for the past twenty years. Her memoirs, both fictional and nonfiction, are laced with poetic humor and often leave me with a smile on my face. Alvarez' family left the Dominican Republic in 1960 in the middle of the revolution to overthrow the dictatorial president Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Because her father had connections, the family was able to escape. Yet, what of those left on the island? In this fictional yet poignant account of the Mirabal sisters who came to be known as the symbol of the revolution, Alvarez reveals the fate of those left behind.
Minerva Mirabal always wanted more than to be a simple country woman like her mother. In a machismo culture where few women learned to read and write, she did not have a future although her dream was to go to law school. Her older sister Patria Mercedes believed to have a religious calling, and their middle sister Dede was the obedient one who went along with the other two. By age ten, the three sisters entered the La Escuela de Imaculada Concepcion and started down the path to both a higher education and to learning revolutionary ideals.
Using poetic prose, Alvarez writes how the three older Mirabal sisters and their youngest sister Maria Teresa "Mate" came of age to be modern women. No longer would they be subservient members of a machismo culture but productive members of society who would make a difference going forward. Alternating chapters from the point of view of each sister, Alvarez expresses how each came to be a revolutionary from a unique place. Especially powerful, were the diary entries written by Mate throughout her life as she grasps what joining the movement would do to herself and her family.
The sisters either married a cousin as was expected or for love, and all four couples played a role in the revolution that would take down Trujillo and bring democracy to the island. Known as the mariposas and meeting clandestinely outside the home of Patria and her husband Pedrito, the guerilla movement took root. Even their young children wanted to participate despite the danger involved. Trujillo's spies planted themselves on Mirabal land, equally determined to squash the masterminds behind the rebellion. This lead the extended family to live in constant fear and had me as a reader mesmerized by Alvarez' writing, showing she is gifted in relating powerful emotions across more than one genre.
November 25, 1960, the day of the real life Mirabal sisters abduction and murder, is now the International Day Toward Violence Against Women. Through the courage and unwavering attitude of the Mirabal sisters and their families, the revolution occurred less than a year later. Alvarez points out in her postscript that even Dominicans living in the United States knew of the bravery of the Mirabal girls. In this powerful book which I rate 4.5 bright stars, Julia Alvarez tells her readers "Vivan las mariposas" so that we never forget these courageous Mirabals.
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Read information about the authorJulia Álvarez was born in New York City. Her parents moved back to the Dominican Republic when Álvarez was 3 months old and she was raised there until she was 10, when the family moved back to NYC.
She is currently writer-in-residence at Middlebury College and the owner of a coffee farm named Alta Gracia, near Jarabacoa in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. The farm hosts a school to teach local farmers and their families how to read and write.
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