Sunday, March 29, 2009

In the Time of the Butterflies (revised post)

By Julia Alvarez, In the Time of the Butterflies, was printed in 1995. This is a well-written and heart-wrenching work of fiction, and apparently is based on the history of the Dominican Republic from 1938 to 1960. Ms. Alvarez points out that in this novel "what you find here are the Mirabals of my creation, made up, but, I hope, true to the spirit of the real Mirabals." And she adds, "A novel is not, after all, a historical document, but a way to travel throught the human heart."

Page 114
Trujillo puts his dice back on the empty try. It's then I notice the sides don't balance. Of course, my good-for-nothing uncle would give his buddy loaded dice.

Page 115
Quickly I reach for the heavier set of dice and begin shaking them in my fist. Trujillo studies the wobbling scales. But without my set there, he can't tell which are his loaded pair. "Go ahead," he says, eyeing me closely. "Highest number wins."

Page 57
Later, lying in the bed we were sharing, I joined Mama in her goodnight rosary to the Virgencita. Her voice in the dark was full of need. At the first Sorrowful Mystery, she said Papa's full name, as if she were calling him to account, not praying for him.
"What's wrong, Mama?" I whispered to her when we were finished.

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