Linda's Reviews > Before We Were Free

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez
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Feb 08, 10

bookshelves: lationo-a

Anita is a young teenager whose large extended family all live happily on her grandfather's compound until the dictatorship of the Dominican Republic threatens the lives of those she holds dear. So one family at a time moves off the compound to United States as it becomes too dangerous to continue living there. Except hers. During the next few months her family must stay and secretly fight for the freedom of the nation. She watches and listens as the Resistance takes foundation in her home, and she must make sacrifices for freedom.

As a reader, it took awhile to get into the novel. Eventually it was the development of the main character Anita that drew me into the plot. She was a carefree young lady until events unfold before her that are too serious to ignore. She gradually finds solace by writing in her secret diary. As a reader it is so inspiring to watch her grow and mature. The way that Alvarez incorporates the culture of the family and the struggle of the Resistance is done seamlessly. Yet at the end of the novel, Alvarez includes an author's note regarding how the details she included in the novel are authentic.
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