Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Intro: In the Time of Butterflies


Chapter One:  Dedé, 1994 and circa 1943 
She is plucking her bird of paradise of its dead branches, leaning around the plant every time she hears a car. The woman will never find the old house behind the hedge of towering hibiscus at the end of the dirt road. Not a gringa dominicana  in a rented car with a road map asking for street names! Dedé had taken the call over at the little museum this morning.  
Could the woman please come over and talk to Dedé about the Mirabal sisters? She is originally from here but has lived many years in the States, for which she is sorry since her Spanish is not so good. The Mirabal sisters are not known there, for which she is also sorry for it is a crime that they should be forgotten, these unsung heroines of the underground, et cetera.
In the Time of Butterflies
by Julia Alvarez

A few days ago, I received the email about our May book club selection (we don't select titles in advance) and immediately downloaded In the Time of Butterflies  to my kindle. This is my first experience reading Julia Alvarez and I'm pretty impressed with the first couple of chapters.

Here is a portion of the goodreads summary:
From the author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents  comes this tale of courage and sisterhood set in the Dominican Republic during the rise of the Trujillo dictatorship. A skillful blend of fact and fiction, In the Time of the Butterflies  is inspired by the true story of the three Mirabal sisters who, in 1960, were murdered for their part in an underground plot to overthrow the government. Alvarez breathes life into these historical figures--known as "las mariposas," or "the butterflies," in the underground--as she imagines their teenage years, their gradual involvement with the revolution, and their terror as their dissentience is uncovered.
What do you think of the opening? Would you keep reading?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

50 comments:

  1. I have heard about Julia Alvarez's books for year, but I've not ever read one. This book seems to tell of a place and an event that I don't know anything about. Very interesting. Enjoy your book group!

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    1. Kay - I've missed my book club this winter and look forward to seeing these ladies again!

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  2. I've never read anything by this author, but I would like to. This sounds like a very good work of historical fiction. Keep us posted!

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    1. Les - I will! Have been tempted by this author in the past, but never got around to reading her until now.

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  3. At first the intro didn't grab me but now I'm curious about what the woman wants to know and what crime she's talking about. I hope you review this one because I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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    1. Katherine - I'll write about it after the meeting so I can include the group's reaction as well as my own :)

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  4. I love the title of the book and am glad to know what "butterflies" refers to in this story. The opening is very intriguing, and this looks like a book I'd like. I'd keep reading!

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    1. Monica - I'm guessing a member of our book club attended Alvarez's recent lecture and convinced the rest of the group to give her a try.

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  5. This sounds like a fascinating read! I love it when authors pick people from history that are maybe not very widely known because their stories are always interesting! I think I would definitely keep reading but I'd probably have to read a bit more before really knowing! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. Juli - I enjoy that kind of historical fiction, too... most recently The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.

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  6. I have had this book in my TBR collection for years and still haven't read it. I really should. I love the sound of it. I hope you enjoy it!

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    1. Literary Feline - Maybe I'll try to convince you after after I've finished :)

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  7. I've read Julia Alvarez before and enjoyed it. Hope you do too.

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    1. Paulita - I have The Garcia Girls on my shelf, too, but haven't read it yet. One of these days...

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  8. I have been wanting to read this one...lovely cover and excerpts!

    Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I'm glad my book club chose this title. It's been on my radar for quite some time, too.

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  9. I've heard of this book but haven't read it. Sounds fascinating. It reminds me of Isabel Allende's stories.
    My Tuesday post features AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE.

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    1. Sandra - Funny you should mention Allende... I was reminded of her, too!

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  10. I like when stories illuminate what for most is obscure history. Hope this is as good as it sounds.

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    1. Suzie - I enjoy that type of historical fiction, too, and have high hopes for this book.

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  11. What an interesting first paragraph! It drew me in with it's simple descriptions. I'm very curious now. Enjoy JoAnn.

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    1. Margot - This one hooked me right from the beginning, too, Margot. I'm enjoying both the writing and the story so far.

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  12. I'm curious about this one, especially since it is based on a true story. I wonder what the sisters' lives were like, so thanks for introducing me to this author.

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    1. Rita - The fact that it's based on a true story is a big draw for me. I'm looking forward to getting to know the sisters:)

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  13. I'm not sure about the writing style in the intro, but the premise of the book sounds so fascinating. I'd keep reading based on the premise.

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    1. Sarah - The premise sounds so interesting to me, too! I know very little about the turmoil in the Dominican Republic and love it when literature can double as a history lesson.

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  14. I've had this book for ages and haven't gotten around to reading it but I want to. I'm looking forward to seeing what your thoughts on it are.

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    1. Darlene - We'll see if I can convince you to read it ;-)

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  15. I am very interested now that I've read the intro and blurb. Look forward to what your book club thinks.

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    1. NIse' - I'll write a post after the meeting to share both my thoughts and the book club reaction.

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  16. Alvarez is on my list of authors to be read some day. Hope you enjoy the book--I'm sure there will be many points for a book group discussion.

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    1. Catherine - Alvarez has been on my list for quite some time, too. I even picked up How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent not too long ago... maybe I'll be inspired to read that next.

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  17. I've only read one book by Alvarez but I loved it! In the Time of Butterflies is on my list too. Glad to hear that you are enjoying it.

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    1. Athira - Did you read How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent? I have that one on my kindle, too, and hope to read it before too much longer.

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  18. I've never heard of this author and that opening has me desperate to know more - what a fantastic sounding novel - historical and set outside the US or Europe! Thanks for visiting my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/first-chapter-first-paragraph-april-14/comment-page-1/#comment-12080

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    1. Cleo - The setting appeals to me, too. So glad my book club selected this one!

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  19. I haven't read this author before, but I know of some who love her books. The passage didn't grab me the first time, but after re-reading it, I'm curious as to the sisters and their legacy. I would keep reading to satisfy curiousity.

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    1. Kathy - I think the plot description appeals to me more than the opening paragraphs. Enjoying this one so far!

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  20. I'll be anxious to hear your thoughts as this is one I have never gotten around to. I like the intro.

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    1. Diane - Not much reading time this week, unfortunately. I'll be working on this one for a while longer...

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  21. I'd be interested in reading this one. It sounds really good.

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  22. Alvarez is wonderful writer. This book is one of my favorites. Enjoy.

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    1. Midlife Roadtripper - I can already see why you'd call this a favorite! So glad my book club decided to read Alvarez!

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  23. The premise is more interesting to me than the opener. So I'd likely read a bit more just to give it a try. I bet this would be awesome book club pick though.

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    1. Beth F - Same here. I'm looking forward to the discussion already.

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  24. I read one of her books a long time ago, but I can't remember which one. (Maybe Yo!) Anyway, I remember enjoying it, even if I can't remember which one I read. I have How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of Butterflies, and In the Name of Salome on my TBR pile.

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    1. Amy - How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accent is on my kindle, too. I really like this book so far and think it will lead to a good discussion.

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  25. This sounds like something I would love.

    Great post. Awesome blog.

    Thanks for stopping by my review of THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT on Goodreads.

    Elizabeth

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    1. Elizabeth - Thanks. I haven't made an awful lot of progress on this book... need to busy and finish before our meeting!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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