Chat Chaser from B&B Session 1 on 6/25
We had our first book club meeting last Thursday; did you miss it? If you don’t already know, we have been reading In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. With Mamajuanas in hand, we had an amazing discussion about the Mirabal sisters and the importance of female heroines.
The story of heroic Butterflies (Las Mariposas) takes place in the Dominican Republic under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Trujillo’s violent regime repressed the Domician people and drove them with fear. Women were restricted to the role of housewives and had limited opportunities in academia. However, nothing was impossible for the brave Mariposas! Minerva, Patria, Mate and Dedé fought for not just their families, but for their entire country.
Alvarez did an amazing job retelling their stories from so many different perspectives; capturing their emotions and all the intricacies of real women in this novel. As well as showing the importance of fatherhood and the upbringing of children. For the Marabel sisters, especially Minerva, she realized very early on that as a woman she would be limited and felt caged in.
Sometimes, watching the rabbits in their pens, I’d think, I’m no different from you, poor things. One time, I opened a cage to set a half-grown doe free. I even gave her a slap to get her going.But she wouldn’t budge! She was used to her little pen. I kept slapping her, harder each time, until she started whimpering like a scared child. I was the one hurting her, insisting she be free.Silly bunny, I thought. You’re nothing at all like me.
– Minerva In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
This in a way foreshadowed what we realized to be the state of the entire country.
Although brave and selfless, we feared for her life as her interactions with Trujillo kept her and her family in harm’s way. As readers we waited and anticipated Trujillo’s retaliation to come much sooner than it did. His delay showed testament to the idea that women do in fact harbor the same strength and intelligence as men… if not more. In short: women are everything!
…. To be Continued after Session 2 on July 16th
Looking Forward to seeing you there!
Gigi & the Sapphire Team