ALA Best Book for Young Adults 1995
ALA Notable Book 1995
National Book Critics Circle Award: Finalist 1995
Synopses & Reviews
On a deserted mountain road in the Dominican Republic in 1960, three young women from a pious Catholic family were assassinated after visiting their husbands who had been jailed as suspected rebel leaders. The Mirabal sisters, thus martyred, became mythical figures in their country, where they are known as Las Mariposas (the butterflies). Three decades later, Julia Alvarez, daughter of the Dominican Republic and author of the acclaimed How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
, brings the Mirabal sisters back to life in this extraordinary novel.
Each of the sisters speaks in her own voice; beginning as young girls in the 1940s, their stories vary from hair ribbons to gun-running to prison torture. Their story is framed by their surviving sister who tells her own tale of suffering and dedication to the memory of Las Mariposas.
This inspired portrait of four women is a haunting statement about the human cost of political oppression, and is destined to take its place alongside Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of solitude and Allende's The House of the Spirits as one of the great 20th-century Latin American novels.
"Alvarez captures the terrorized atmosphere of a police state....As the sisters' energetic fervor turns to anguish, Alvarez conveys their courage and their desperation, and the full import of their tragedy." Publishers Weekly
"Though murder, torture, and imprisonment are ever-present, [Alvarez] wisely choses to focus on the personal lives of these young wives and mothers, full of love, beauty, and, especially, hope. Highly recommended for its luminescence and relevance." Library Journal
"[The] novel is a statement about politics and history told in very human terms and, as importantly, told not with outrage, but with self-possession." Booklist
"Alvarez's voice is her own, grounded in realism yet alive with the magic of everyday human beings who summon extraordinary courage and determination to fight for their beliefs. As mesmerizing as the Mirabal sisters themselves." Kirkus Reviews
Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republica in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.
About the Author
Julia Alvarez grew up in the Dominican Republic before emigrating to the United States at the age of 10. She now lives in Vermont, where she is a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College.