In the time of the Butterflies is separated into three sections of 4 chapters each. Each part opens with Dede in third-person narration conversely, the narration is given in the very first person because that the various other sisters. Dede’s chapters are split into two parts: 1994 (the present) and the past, once her sister were alive, beginning with 1943. The time frame of the "present" is a span of one afternoon, in i beg your pardon Dede gives an interview. But the interviewer’s concerns transport Dede, and the reader, earlier in time and into the consciousnesses that the sisters.

Part i

Dede begins an interview with a woman at around three o'clock. The is 1994. When Dede asks she what she wants to know, the interviewer answers, "Tell me all of it." Dede is transported earlier to 1943, to "a clean moonlit night before the future began." The totality family is out in the front garden under the anacahuita tree, relaxing and telling stories.

In 1938, Patria and Minerva walk to Inmaculada Concepcion together boarding students. Minerva meets Sinita Perozo, that tells her how Trujillo damaged her family—killing she uncles, she father, and her brother. Minerva considers, because that the first time, that Trujillo is not the saint he provides himself the end to be. This present is driven home when in 1941, her girlfriend Lina Lovaton is liked to be among Trujillo's mistresses, destroying her chance at having actually a fulfilling life. Minerva and also her friend are favored to offer a recitation power for Trujillo at the centennial celebration, but it ends disastrously once Sinita division from the script and also walks toward Trujillo's chair, taking aim in ~ him.

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Maria Teresa has received a diary indigenous Minerva because that her first Communion. Patria has gotten married and given bear to 2 children, Noris and Nelson, and is pregnant through a third. Maria Teresa starts school at Inmaculada Concepcion, where she choose to lie for Minerva, who has been sneaking out of school to satisfy secretly with her friends at Don Horacio's house. Among those friends, Hilda, hides in ~ Inmaculada Concepcion, pretending to be a student, but soon she is recorded by guards. In July, Minerva graduates and Patria miscarries, losing her son.

In 1946, Patria is 22 year old and, despite constantly believing she would finish up ending up being a nun, has chosen come marry Pedrito Gonzales. She is worried about Minerva, who is speak out versus the government. In worrying around Minerva's ns of faith, she herself begins to battle with her faith. After the miscarriage of Patria's third child, Chea Mirabal decides come take every her daughters top top a expedition to Higuey, wherein it is revealed the Enrique Mirabal is unfaithful to her.

Part II

Back in the present, in 1994, Dede considers the Fela, your longtime servant, thinks that she is own by the spirits of the dead Mirabal sisters. The interviewer reminds her about Lio Morales, who Dede and Minerva met one summer and also subsequently invite to beat volleyball in ~ Tio Pepe's. When a newspaper that reports that Lio is "a communist, a subversive," Mama becomes upset the she has actually been letting him spend time at their home. Back she denies being in love through him, Minerva continues to see him—on dual dates with Jaimito and Dede. On the night that Jaimito proposes come Dede, Lio provides her a letter to provide to Minerva, questioning Minerva to enter exile v him and also his comrades. Dede decides the she will certainly not disclose her sisters to the danger, for this reason she burns the letter in the lamp.

After graduating native Inmaculada Concepcion, Minerva has been living at home for a few years. She by chance discovers Carmen, the woman v whom she father has been having an affair, and her four half-sisters. She likewise discovers four letters from Lio, which she father has actually been hiding native her. The family is invited to a discovery Day dance at among Trujillo's palaces; Manuel de Moya tries to seduce Minerva, and when Trujillo touches her inappropriately, she slaps the dictator in the face. As soon as he pulls her inappropriately close, thrusting at her in a vulgar way, she slaps his face. A rainstorm begins, and the Mirabals escape; yet on the journey home, Minerva realizes that she has put the letters from Lio in the pocket of the lining of she purse, which she left in ~ the palace. Enrique Mirabal is sent to the funding for "questioning," and also while he is over there Minerva brings money come his illegitimate family. Minerva and also Chea Mirabal walk to the funding to petition for Papa's release. The is released after 3 weeks, yet he has gone insane. In their meeting with Trujillo, Minerva provides a bet through the dictator; she wins, and also he allows her to research law.

Maria Teresa has a new journal, i m sorry is an additional gift indigenous Minerva. Enrique Mirabal has actually passed away, and Maria Teresa mourns his death, but she likewise has developed crushes top top both of her cousins, Raul and also Berto. Top top July 3, Maria Teresa graduates from Inmaculada Concepcion, and also in September, she join Minerva at the college in the capital, and they space roommates. Minerva marries Manolo in 1955, for this reason she moves in v him. Soon, she offers birth come Minou, and also in 1957, they relocate to Monte Cristi.

Trujillo plays a disastrous trick on Minerva by no actually providing her a license to practice law; she diploma is useless. Maria Teresa help Minerva set up her new home in Monte Cristi. She by chance intercepts a distribution of weapons from Leandro, codename Palomino, come the house. Manolo and also Minerva explain around the nationwide underground that is forming. Maria Teresa joins them and also begins to loss in love with Leandro, who she marries on Valentine's Day, 1958.

It is now 1959 and also Patria's children, Nelson and Noris, have grown up. They every live in Pedrito's great-grandfather's house. Minerva and Manolo visit from Monte Cristi every week; they satisfy on Patria and Pedrito's land with many other revolutionaries. This instance gives Nelson the opportunity to get associated when he is residence from school. He reports earlier to her that the revolutionaries room expecting an invasion by the liberators native Cuba.

Though she is pregnant v Raul Ernesto, Patria decides to go on a retreat v Padre de Jesus and also the Salcedo group to Constanza. ~ above the fourteenth that June, the mountainside is bombed. The very first wave the the liberating intrusion is the target; six days later on the 2nd wave is intercepted and also defeated. Padre de Jesus changes the name of the retreat group to Accion Clero-Cultural, or ACC. Though Pedrito protests in ~ first, the Fourteenth that June movement is founded in Patria and also Pedrito's home.

Part III

In the afternoon in 1994, Dede says goodbye come the interviewer just as Minou come from Fela's. Earlier in 1960, Dede has become solitary and feels the Jaimito has come to be a "bossy, old-fashioned macho" that doesn't notification her unhappiness. She sisters pertained to ask she to join their revolutionary cell, and also Dede silently decides to leaving Jaimito. She is about to questioning the priest because that advice, but when she realizes the Padre de Jesus is "one of them," she becomes afraid he will convince her to join the revolution, for this reason she flees. Jaimito has left her through his sons, yet Manolo convinces them come reconcile and also take a holidays together. The following week, Leandro, Pedrito, and Nelson space arrested, and Patria's home has actually been melted to the ground. Minerva has tuberculosis, but she and Manolo are likewise arrested prior to she can obtain treatment. Dede and Jaimito are able come rebuild some strength in their marital relationship in their initiative to save her sisters.

For 3 months, Patria stays at her mother's home suffering without her son, husband, or Minerva. Soon, Maria Teresa is also arrested. The Catholic Church speak out against the regime, and also the program fights back by finding ways to dissuade world from attending church. Through Margarita, among Enrique Mirabal's illegitimate daughters, Patria and Chea room able to interact with Minerva and also Maria Teresa in La Victoria prison. Captain Pena pertains to Chea Mirabal's house with visiting passes, reporting the Nelson can be released v the next round that pardons. Yet Minerva and Maria Teresa have refused their own pardons. ~ above the next Tuesday, they journey to the funding to pick up Nelson.

In jail at La Victoria, Maria Teresa writes in a smuggled notebook native Carmen's cousin Santiclo, who is just one of the guards in ~ La Victoria. On April 11, Maria Teresa is required to La 40 and also whipped in prior of Leandro, to try to convince him to do a task for Trujillo, though it is not described what the job is. The works; Leandro cries out, "I'll execute it! I'll do it!" ~ above Monday, might 23, Maria Teresa and Minerva are arraigned and also sentenced to five years in jail at a "joke the a trial," having actually no legit representation. The company of American says (OAS) is comes to investigate the politics prisoners' situation, and Minerva urges Maria Teresa come share v the OAS the event she has written down. After she ten-minute conference in the visitors' room with seven members the the committee, Maria Teresa allows the letter include the statement composed by Minerva and also Sina and also signed "The Fourteenth of June Movement" loss out of she braid, and the young commissioner top her the end picks it up. However, she does no let drop the letter v her own an individual account. On respectable 7, Maria Teresa reports the she and also Minerva will be released the next day along with the various other female political prisoners.

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Minerva and Maria Teresa have been released however are currently on house arrest. To make money, they begin up a specialty company of do children's christening gowns. In prison, Manolo's spirits space crushed once a team of young men is caught distributing revolutionary leaflets in Santiago. Delia Santos tells Minerva to visit Dr. Pedro Vinas, who defines that the "gringos" are helping with the revolution. Manolo fears, however, the they will also take end the country. Minerva loser the residence she owns v Manolo, and also Dede helps her organize and also clean that out. The next Thursday, while they room on the method to visit your husbands, Captain Pena speak them that Manolo and Leandro room being moved to Puerto Plata, nearer to where the sisters live. Top top November 25, on the way to Puerto Plata, the sisters' driver, Rufino, decides to stop and pick increase a young soldier that is hitchhiking.

The sisters avoid at a store called El Gallo ~ above the way to Puerto Plata to buy sewing provides for your company. The salesclerk, Jorge Almonte, recognizes them and gives Minerva a written warning come "Avoid the pass." yet there is nothing to be done, therefore they keep driving. Nevertheless, they safely arrive at Puerto Plata and also visit Leandro and also Manolo, who asks Minerva not to drive earlier that night. After ~ failing to get in touch with their mother by phone, they decide to head home.

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