Sira Quiroga is a poor seamstress in Madrid and her life is pretty much mapped out for her. She’ll meet someone, get married, have children, and hopefully her husband will be wealthy enough so that she won’t have to work. Sira was right on track – she had met the man she was going to marry – but then her fiancé decided to buy her a typewriter. That decision would alter both of their lives forever. Fate would find Sira abandoned in a foreign city broke and owing debts she had no means to pay. Sira’s new life brings her to many unexpected places – and even more dangerous obstacles to overcome. Can Sira’s skills as a seamstress stretch all the way to espionage, or will she be caught short?
I was immediately drawn to The Time in Between because Duenas’s storytelling ability is being compared to Carlos Ruiz Zafon, the author of The Shadow of the Wind – which just happens to be one of my favorite books of all time. So needless to say, I was intrigued. I needed only to read the blurb to know that I was definitely interested in reading the book for myself. Let me say it now: I was NOT disappointed!
The Time in Between is a book you can get lost in. The writing is superb, the story line is fascinating. I’ve never really been much of a seamstress (can’t even sew a pillow) or interested in that sort of thing, but I was totally wrapped up in the story from the very beginning. Like The Shadow of the Wind, there are great descriptions of eras and places from the past, especially of Spain.
Usually the books I read that are set during WWII are about the Holocaust; it was fascinating to read about the same time period in a place that was experiencing the effects of the war and yet not in the same way. The effects on Spain are no less dramatic – if anything it becomes a personal battle. Who do you associate with? Are your friends German or English? It became very important to take sides.
If you visit my site often you know I am a mystery/thriller lover at heart. The Time in Between is a story of adventure, of personal growth, and love wrought with tension and suspense at every turn, Sira Quiroga is a character that is so 3-dimensional she just about leaps off the page. Even the secondary characters have such a presence that they feel like if you traveled you’d meet them. I found myself rooting for so many people in this novel. I wanted them all to succeed and find happiness, well OK maybe not ALL – but you’ll know who when you read it for yourself!
Like the dresses Sira makes from various fabrics and findings, she has to alter her own personae in order to survive and thrive in the situations she finds herself in. This is not always an easy transition for her. Often she has to leave friends behind and make other tough decisions. What the reader never doubts is that Sira is an amazing woman. To be able to transform herself into the woman she needs to be at every turn is such a quality I found admirable.
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*I received an advanced copy of the book, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.