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The Time in Between

Average Rating 4
( 94 )
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(41)

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(31)

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(13)

2 Star

(5)

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(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

25 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

Exceptional book

I am going to be honest. I said I would read this book because I think I need to read more women authors and more foreign writers, just to get out of my comfort zone. But when I finally got the book in my hands and read the synopsis I was scared because it was hitting a...
I am going to be honest. I said I would read this book because I think I need to read more women authors and more foreign writers, just to get out of my comfort zone. But when I finally got the book in my hands and read the synopsis I was scared because it was hitting a lot of things I tend to avoid. What will I have in common with a pre WWII seamstress as she deals with love and intrigue in Southern Europe. A dressmaker for goodness sake! But being the dutiful guy that I am I took it to work with me to read on break, to at least make a start. That was a mistake, a big mistake, because BLOODY HELL THIS BOOK ROCKED!! I was distracted at work for the rest of the day and immediately devoured this book as soon as I got home - all 600 pages of it. People like to talk about the skill of the writing as if that is what made a good book, but in reality it is voice (flow) and story and María Dueñas has this in spades. The story is so compelling and slowly grabs you that you do not notice how tightly it has you trapped. Think of flow as notes in a piano recital; bad flow jars you just like an off note. The time in between just flows beautiful y as the pages go by. Very smooth without any off notes at all. What really came alive for me was the society that the heroine had to operate in, pre WWII Spain (& Morocco). It was dedicated to seeing who was loyal to the cause, forcing people to choose sides in a no win situation. But as in all unrighteous dominion situations it rapidly degenerated to a he said/she said scenario. You begin to lose all trust in those around you, even those that are closest. When you can't trust anyone you have no family (in any sense of the word), and that is the beginning of death for any society. Our heroine survived because in even the worst of situations she was always able to find someone, one lifeline to normalcy, someone to trust. It was that connection that got her thorough and it is a good lesson for all of us. Do not hesitate to get this book as soon as it comes out (November 2011 - though currently available for the Kindle). It should appeal to everyone, from millions of Europeans where this book was originally released to mystery loving guys living in Minnesota. This book has it all and is at the top of my recommend to friends list.

posted by bookhimdanno on September 4, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

If you like history, you should read this.

While the story here was fantastic, a lot of the book is devoted to historical background. I sometimes felt that Sira disappeared for the sake of slotting in large chunks of history, halting the plot and my interest. Overall though, the novel is beautifully written, I c...
While the story here was fantastic, a lot of the book is devoted to historical background. I sometimes felt that Sira disappeared for the sake of slotting in large chunks of history, halting the plot and my interest. Overall though, the novel is beautifully written, I cared about the characters, and the history is worth knowing.

posted by bfriedman on September 14, 2012

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  • Posted August 6, 2011

    Live To Read

    This novel truly captures the atmosphere of the 1930's and 1940's. The main character, Sira, is young, capricious, and eager to find her future. Her mother, a dressmaker, teachers her to grow up like her. Sira's story would have ended when she became a dressmaker and lived out her days much like her mother if not for a chance encounter with a handsome man. Their connection is immediate and soon Sira is taking risks for him.



    Ramiro, Sira's lover, takes her to North Africa; he promptly abandons her and his unborn child. She suffers a mental breakdown, understandable given the circumstances. In order to pay back Ramiro's debts, Sira takes up sewing once again and finds that she enjoys the activity. She rubs shoulders with very influential politicians and officials in no time. Her dresses and clothing line become all the rage and she experiences sudden success. She is tapped by the British Secret Service to spy on the influential people she meets in everyday life. She learns to place the Morse code in her clothing.



    This novel was very well-written, smooth and the events flowed throughout the novel. Sira's breakdown was jarring as are some of the "spying" escapades, but other than that the reader will find him/herself immersed in a smooth, medium-paced novel. Sira herself is a likable character, she is a strong female character for her time period. To go from a mental breakdown to spying and paying off debts shows both her determination and strength. The secondary characters are all interesting to read about. The reader will find the plot intriguing. This book is recommended for young adults/adults who enjoy more historical novels concerning the 1930's/1940's time.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An intriguing spy story by an unforgettable, courageous woman.

    Book Review by Regis Schilken Sira lives during an explosive time, The Time in Between, in world history. As a young woman under her mother's tutelage, Sira had become an expert seamstress creating the most admired and modern fashions of that time. Her skilled needled fingers created garments sought by those willing to pay for exotic dressware.

    At the same time, swept off her feet by a man who would sweep away huge sums and jewels she had just inherited from a father she'd never met, Sira moves with this lover to Tetuan across the Straight of Gibralter at a time when Hitler's henchmen are quickly infiltrating the Spanish government, planting seeds of unrest in favor of eventual complete Nazi occupation and dominion.

    Slowly, she realizes that the man she thought she admired and adored has unwittingly used her very own fortune to continue his high-living amidst Spanish nobility including any other high-lifers who immediately accept him, and his seemingly endless supply of funds, none of which are really his. They belong to Sira.

    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.

    At the same time, speech in Sira's seamstress shop runs freely, particularly among the proud Nazi wives and mistresses of moneyed high ranking Nazi military officials. At any second, betrayal looms. Yet sophisticated Sira remains faithful to her father in Spain who bestowed upon her, her misspent and/or stolen wealth. She begins to work for the English underground. Her shop is a prime location for overhearing and instigating Nazi women to talk of Hitler's intended plans for world domination.

    Filled with constant anxiety and extreme fear lest she be caught and murdered, Sira sews disclosed secret plans into the hems of her beautiful creations in theform of Morse Code. These garments, of course, reach England and are critically helpful in eliminating political conspiracies and obscure secret missions. What will happen to this brave woman who dares, in one sense, to play both sides against the middle?

    This tale of betrayal, honor, and unwaving courage I will leave to the reader of The Time in Between. Author Maria Duenas has done a remarkable job keeping her book focused, wandering only far enough away from its theme, to give readers information regarding times, places, and the deep emotions of those involved.

    I would recommend The Time in Between to all readers who love stories of spying, high intrigue, fear, dishonor, and ultimately-love. The book is 612 pages long, but the story moves quickly. I must confess that I found myself skipping some long paragraphs that seemed to provide just a bit too much detail to move the story along.

    All in all, The Time in Between by Maria Duenas will not disappoint. It will transport the reader back to an era between two world wars-a time of warfare that eventually plagued most of the civilized world. The story is clever because it shows the length and breath the spirit of Sira, always seeking love, was willing to chance in order to stop an age of tyranny.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2012

    Interesting

    This book was interesting because of all of the Spanish history. I am a quilter and loved all the talk about custom dress making.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    A great novel with so much history!

    This was a great novel with so much history woven into the story. The author and her wonderful writing transported me to Madrid, Morocco, and Portugal in the 1930s & 1940s. I felt the struggles and pain of the Spanish during their civil war and after. I read about a whole other side of the WWII story. There were heart pounding moments where I found myself holding my breath and just when I thought I figured something out, the author would take the story down a different path and I would find out that I was wrong. Loved this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Great book, could not put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    Great book!

    As a librarian I see many books, but few as good as this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Worth reading

    There is a serenity to this book that carries you from page to page and draws you into the lives of its characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    Recommend - a great read

    This was one of the more interesting books thati've read in a while. The story took unexpected turns while providing rich details and narrative.

    Read it, you deserve a fresh story line and you won't be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Good read

    This book had a great storyline and kept my attention all the way through. Very well written and interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Catherine J, Snow

    A Great Read, surprising, , interesting I could relate to the timeof the writing, I loved the 'star charcter her guts, were
    so intertaining. Loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    If you like historical novels

    Looked forward to reading it each night. reccomend this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    highly recommended. a must read

    this was a very good book this book would be great for club discussions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    Age level?

    To all who have read this book, is it appropriate for junior high age kids (12-13 years old)?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 9, 2014

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    Posted February 15, 2014

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    Posted July 18, 2012

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    Posted December 27, 2012

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    Posted September 10, 2014

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    Posted March 16, 2012

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