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In the Time of the Butterflies is a fictionalized account of the revolutionary activity and personal lives of the Mirabal sisters and their families and compatriots in the Dominican Republic under the Trujillo regime. It is divided into three sections of four chapters each. Each part opens with Dede. Her narration is in the third person whereas the narration of the other sisters is in the first person. Her chapters are divided into two parts: the present (1994) and the past, when her sisters were alive, beginning with 1943. The time frame of the "present" is a span of just one afternoon, during which Dede gives an interview. The interview questions transport Dede (and thus the reader) back in time and into the consciousness of each sister.