Callie Burnside's Reviews > Before We Were Free

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez
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's review
Dec 05, 2009

bookshelves: fiction-and-nonfiction
Recommended to Callie by: Mrs. Brother's English class bookshelf.
Recommended for: People who are interested in history.
Read in November, 2009 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** I did not begin this book expecting to be impressed. However, as the book progressed, I found myself becoming more interested. It's set in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s. It's the story of a young girl, Anita, and her large family who slowly begin to emigrate from the Dominican Republic. As hardly more than a child of 12, she doesn't understand everything that's happening at first, or why her family is in danger if they stay. It becomes more obvious as time passes that her entire family has been involved in small rebellions against the ruler, Trujillo, who rules the Republic with a hateful iron fist. While her family is fighting for freedom, Anita is still struggling with her developing body, and which boys she wants to marry. But the book takes a sudden turn when Anita's father and uncle set into motion a plan to assassinate Trujillo and are caught. She and her mother go into hiding, and she spends long weeks in a closet at a relative's house. Finally she and her mother are airlifted from the area and taken to America to be with her family. However, her father and uncle never return. Her family decides to stay in America, at least for the time being, even once the war has been won and the Dominican Republic is once again a safe place to live. There doesn't seem any point in going back. Kind of depressing, but worth a read if you ask me.

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