In the Time of the Butterflies

  • by Julia Alvarez
  • Narrated by Noemi de la Puente, Alma Cuervo, Bianca Carnacho, Melanie Martinez
  • 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is November 25, 1960, and the bodies of three beautiful, convent-educated sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. El Caribe, the official newspaper, reports their deaths as an accident. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of General Raphael Leonidas Trujillo's dictatorship. It doesn't have to. Everyone knows of Las Mariposas: "The Butterflies". Now, three decades later, Julia Alvarez, also a daughter of the Dominican Republic and long haunted by these sisters, immerses us in a tangled and dangerous moment in Hispanic Caribbean history to tell their story in the only way it can truly be understood: through fiction. In this brilliantly characterized novel, the voices of all four sisters - Minerva, Patria, Maria Teresa, and Dede - speak across the decades, to tell their own stories, from hair ribbons to gunrunning to prison torture, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo's rule.


What the Critics Say

"Though murder, torture, and imprisonment are ever-present, she wisely choses to focus on the personal lives of these young wives and mothers, full of love, beauty, and, especially, hope." (Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This is a well written book, which provides a historical perspective to Trujillo's iron fist rule of the Dominican Republic. The author does a great job improvising for the "unknown" in the life of the Mirabal sisters.
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- Santiago

Maybe it's just me but...

The story itself is excellent, and I enjoyed the readers' voices with one MAJOR exception: the sound quality is so acute that you can hear their mouths (that lip/tongue smacking sound) and also maybe the pages being turned. (At first, I thought I was just being crazy, but I played the audio for my husband and he could hear it too.) It was a bit unnerving.
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- Sarah C Poller

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-18-2007
  • Publisher: Recorded Books