Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tribute to Slain Heroines

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tribute to Slain Heroines

Article excerpt


A novel by Julia Alvarez

325 pages, Algonquin, $21.95

NOT SO long ago, in a land not so far away, three sisters were murdered.

Those sisters and a fourth were known as las Mariposas, the butterflies. Patria Mercedes Mirabal, Minerva Mirabal and Maria Teresa Mirabal were killed on Nov. 25, 1960, by the regime of Dominican dictator Raphael Leonides Trujillo. Dede Mirabal stayed home that day and survived.

Julia Alvarez has taken the stark facts of the four lives and three deaths as a framework for a moving new novel, "In the Time of the Butterflies."

Looking in turn through the eyes of each of the sisters, Alvarez chronicles their lives and growing involvement in the resistance movement. They learn to live with guards outside their homes and listening devices within.

Their father spends weeks in jail after Minerva rebuffs Trujillo's advances. Years later, Minerva and Maria Teresa are jailed, as are their husbands, Patria's husband and Patria's teen-age son. …

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