Translated into Persian by Hassan Mortazavi, the novel described as “a magnificent treasure for all cultures and all time” by the St. Petersburg Times is a story of resistance, endurance, self-sacrifice, love and struggle against oppression.
On November 25, 1960, a local official newspaper reported the death of three sisters found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.
The deaths were reported as accidental with no mention of the victims’ fourth sister despite the fact that the sisters were among the leading opponents of the dictatorship of General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.
The novel speaks in the voices of the deceased sisters Minerva, Patria and Maria Teresa of the Mirabal family, and also their surviving sister Dede, narrating their secrets and their personal lives as well as their everyday horrors under Trujillo’s rule.
Alvarez brands them as the martyred butterflies in an artistic and magical narration of courage and love while lamenting the human casualties left behind by political oppression.
From the perspective of the family’s only survivor, Alvarez uses a variety of narrative methods to tell the shocking story of a family that suffered greatly under the tyranny of Trujillo, depicting the glorious work of the “butterflies”.
To honor the three Mirabal sisters, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Alvarez's novel, with a sad yet epic narrative, describes an unequal struggle; a description of the sisters’ sacrifice and miserable life; an account of love that is thousands of times more powerful than a bullet; and most significantly, the resistance of ordinary people who will sacrifice anything for their freedom and dignity.