Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: The Time In Between by Maria Duenas

Title: The Time In Between
Author: Maria Duenas
Publisher: Atria
Publish Date: November 8, 2011
Source: ARC from the publisher

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You like an epic book. 
  • You want a story to get sucked into.
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
What's the Story?: 

From "The Time In Between is a word-of-mouth phenomenon that catapulted María Dueñas, a debut author, to the top of Spain’s bestseller lists.

This sweeping novel, which combines the storytelling power of The Shadow of the Wind with the irresistible romance of Casablanca, moves at an unstoppable pace. Suddenly left abandoned and penniless in Algiers by her lover, Sira Quiroga forges a new identity. Against all odds she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. But she is soon embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy as she passes information to the British Secret Service through a code stitched into the hems of her dresses."

My Two Cents:

There has been a lot of buzz about this book and for good reason. At over 600 pages, this book is a whopper but I flew through it. This book had everything I love about a good book. There's a little bit of history, a little mystery, a little romance and an overall story that pulls you in and doesn't let go until the last page. This is the perfect kind of book to curl up with when you have an afternoon of nothing to do but read.

Sira is an interesting character. She's smart but she seems to go wherever the wind takes her. When she ends up stranded in Morocco after her lover leaves her. It's up to her to make it on her own. Going home isn't an option; it's the late 1930s and Sira's native Spain is falling into war. Sira goes through many different stages throughout the book but the story is still totally cohesive. The other character that I fell in love with is Candelaria. She's a schemer and always seems to know what to do next.

I loved the scenery in this book. The settings are so vivid. I've never been to Morocco (it's definitely on my bucket list) but the way Duenas writes, I felt like I could see the streets. I felt like I was on the train with Sira. It's fantastic!

Bottom line: You'll get lost in this book!


  1. I liked this one a lot too and I agree, when I picked up the book I thought it was going to take forever to read but I read it pretty fast. It was a wonderful story.

  2. I can't wait to read this book! Glad to hear that you flew through it despite its length. I'll link to your review on War Through the Generations.

  3. Wow, okay. I've been on the fence about this one. But you mention a few things that make me want to pursue it: getting sucked into the story and the unstoppable pace. Also "This book had everything I love about a good book." is a pretty solid endorsement...I think I'll add it to my TBR. I know I can't get to it right away, but I think I'm no longer on-the-fence about it. The danger of passing information thru the lining of the clothes seems really heart-pounding and exciting.

    Thanks a lot! This is one that I've been stressing about--whether or not to add it to the TBR! I trust your judgment, so onto the pile it goes. :)

  4. Like Asheley, I've been on the fence about this one I'm definitely adding to the TBR. I love me a good page-turner!

  5. Books with an amazing setting and sense of place -- no matter where that is -- always draw me in! Sounds like a great read, though 600 pages sounds a little intimidating.

  6. I glad to see you enjoyed this book. I have an ARC and a finished copy (both sent from the publisher) and I plan to start it next, but I'm not going to lie... I'm mad intimidated! My reading has been pretty slow-going lately, so the thought of starting a 600+ page chunkster scares me. Nice to know, that, it will (hopefully!) suck me in and not let go! Teehee

  7. @Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) I know the page number seems daunting but it really, really, really is worth the read!

  8. @Meg The page numbers do sound daunting but once you get into the book, the pages will fly. Promise!

  9. @JP I have the ARC and the finished copy as well. Admittedly I read the ARC because I didn't want to dirty the finished copy because it's so gorgeous!

  10. The Time in Between reveals how Sira, fortified with her own ingenuity and with the help of her compassionate landlady and several female conspirators who damn Nazi occupation, she sets up her own chic seamstress workshop-Chez Cirah. In here, Nazi woman seek the latest clothing fashions in northern Africa and are willing to pay plentifully for them.


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