27. In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
28. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent by Julia Alvarez
I’m addressing these two books together because they seemed very similar to me in some regards. They both revolve around families containing four sisters from the Dominican Republic. In the Time of Butterflies is set in the Dominican Republic during the reign of Trujillo. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent is set during a similar time period except that the family has emigrated from the DR to New York.
I was not super fond of either of them for some of the same reasons, but also for differing ones. I found the stories in Garcia Girls more interesting, but it almost felt like a series of connected short stories rather than a novel, which I didn’t care for. Butterflies had a more cohesive plot line, but I didn’t care that much about it. Both books spend different chapters telling the stories of the different sisters alternating back and forth. I found I had a hard time distinguishing one sister from another a lot of times in both books forgetting what part of what story belonged to who.
I know both of these books have gotten lots of praise and probably rightly so, but ultimately I think I just don’t care for Alvarez’s writing style.
I give them both 5 out of 10.