When we were free by julia alvarez

7.92  ·  4,352 ratings  ·  698 reviews
when we were free by julia alvarez

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

I wonder what it would be like to be free? Not to need wings because you don’t have to fly away from your country?

Anita de la Torre is a twelve-year-old girl living in the Dominican Republic in 1960. Most of her relatives have emigrated to the United States, her Tio Toni has disappeared, Papi has been getting mysterious phone calls about butterflies and someone named Mr. Smith, and the secret police have started terrorizing her family for their suspected opposition to the country’s dictator. While Anita deals with a frightening series of events, she also struggles with her adolescence and her own personal fight to be free.
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Published 07.04.2019

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez


Here she brings her warmth, sensitivity and eye for detail to a volatile setting—the Dominican Republic of her childhood, during the — attempt to overthrow Trujillo's dictatorship. The perspective remains securely Anita's, and Alvarez's pitch-perfect narration will immerse readers in Anita's world. Her crush on the American boy next door is at first as important as knowing that the maid is almost certainly working for the secret police and spying on them; later, as Anita understands the implications of the adult remarks she overhears, her voice becomes anxious and the tension mounts. When the revolution fails, Anita's father and uncle are immediately arrested, and she and her mother go underground, living in secret in their friends' bedroom closet—a sequence the author renders with palpable suspense. Alvarez conveys the hopeful ending with as much passion as suffuses the tragedies that precede it.

Before We Were Free book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. I wonder what it would be like to be free? Not to need wings b.
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Look Inside Reading Guide. Reading Guide. Jul 13, Minutes Young Adult Buy. Jul 13, Minutes Young Adult. Using the strength and courage of her family, Anita must overcome her fears and fly to freedom, leaving all that she once knew behind.

Throughout the book, Anita watches her mother to judge the situation in the compound. Her mother often changes her approach to Anita—sometimes treating her as an adult, sometimes as a child. How does Anita react, and how do you think she would like to be treated? Do you feel she is old enough to be hearing the truth, or should her mother shelter her more? The family lives in a compound and is extremely close.


  1. Brett Y. says:

    Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez - Reading Guide: - hamiltonellis.com: Books

  2. Zoey H. says:

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  3. Clea R. says:

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  4. Torcuato P. says:

    This book because it was told from the perspective of a kid, made it easy for me to relate and understand what was happening.

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