Minerva and Dede are both beautiful and intelligent women. Their personalities are vastly different, however. Minerva is outgoing and assertive, and chafes at the confines of home and family. Dede is quieter, and more inclined to be content with the way things are.
Minerva at an early age longs to go away to boarding school. When Papa consents, his only stipulation is that one of his daughters stay home to help with the store. The job should have fallen to Minerva, as the youngest of the three oldest Mirabal girls. Instead, Dede placidly consents to be the one to stay behind.
Minerva is the first to embrace the revolution, and does so with boldness, courage, and unwavering determination. It is she who educates her sisters in its purposes and philosophies, and she becomes a leader early in its ranks. Dede realizes the truth behind her sister's beliefs more slowly, and is also more hesitant to act upon them. Dede is torn between taking an active part in the revolution and remaining in the life she finds so comfortable and familiar. Although she is attracted to the dangerous political exile Lio, she is overshadowed by her more assertive sister Minerva in gaining his attention, and she chooses instead to marry her conventional cousin Jaimito, in accordance to her family's expectations.