Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Time In Between: A Novel by María Dueñas - Released Today!

  • Title: The Time In Between: A Novel
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Format: Hardcover, 624 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1 edition (November 8, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1451616880
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451616880

"One of the effects of being crazily, obsessively in love is that it dulls your senses, your capacity for perception, till you no longer notice what is happening around you. It causes you to focus your attention so much one single person that it isolates you from the rest of the universe, imprisons you inside a shell, and keeps you at a distance from other realities, even those right in front of you." 

They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Such would be true of Sira Quiroga. Left abandoned, penniless, and pregnant in a foreign country by her lover, Ramiro, Sira attempts to make her way home. Almost before her trip has started, she finds herself waking up in a hospital being confronted by the police. They inform her that Ramiro not only had stolen the inheritance she'd recently acquired, but also racked up a bunch of debt which she is now responsible for. He also managed to involve her in unscrupulous dealings with his former company which could also have consequences. In order to survive, Sira will need to learn to live on her own and reinvent herself. Not an easy thing for a single woman to do in the days leading up to World War II. The woman who came from modest means will end up realizing her full potential and live a life she never would have dreamed or predicted for herself.

When we first meet Sira Quiroga she's a young girl of 20, only months away from her wedding. A chance encounter with Ramiro ends up changing the course of her life when he seduces her away from her fiance. She's young and naive and while we, the readers, see immediately the type of man Ramiro is, poor Sira is taken in. She goes with him to Morraco. After he abandons her she gets a painful dose of reality and grows up quickly. You can't help but sympathize with her.

No longer a naive young girl easily mislead, she now is hesitant to start another relationship. Determined to pay back the debt she owes, she ends up going back to the one thing she's been doing for years and is good at--sewing. With the help of some newly made friends, she starts her own business. We, the readers, watch her grow up right before our eyes as she transforms herself into a smart and savvy business woman who becomes a highly sought after clothing designer. Through her work she gains friends and clientele in high places. Living in the middle of a politically charged war riddled world, Sira will find herself in a position to help tilt the outcome of the war in favor of the British and Allies. With a little persuading and coaching, Sira enters the sinister yet exciting world of espionage.

I kept going back and forth about whether or not I wished to read this book. I found myself drawn to it, but wasn't sure why. I finally decided to leave the outcome of whether or not I would read it up to fate and entered one of Simon & Schuster's sweepstakes for which this book was one of the prizes. Needless to say, fate would have me read the book. I thank my lucky stars that it did. This was a fabulous debut by author Maria Dueñas. I found myself drawn into the story immediately and connecting with the characters. A beautifully written novel that had me pondering it when I had to take a break from reading to take care of my children and do various household chores. While quite a lengthy read, I felt it was too short when the ending came because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the characters or the story. It's no wonder this is an international bestseller. Would it be too much to ask for a sequel?

María Dueñas, masterfully intertwined historical reality with fiction. I love it when an author does that. Rosalinda Fox and Juan Beigbedery Atienza (Minister of Foreign Affairs in Spain), two important secondary characters in the book, were real people. The two had an affair and Rosinda persuaded Beigbedery to support the British during World War II. Dueñas also used the names of actual hotels from the era to give a real sense of the locations where her story was set. Some of the hotels mentioned in the book still exist today. Additionally, if you buy the hardcopy of the book the inside of the cover contains pictures, arranged to look like postcards, of the various locations mentioned in the book. A truly wonderful thing which I wish more publishers/authors would do. If you don't have a hardcopy or, even if you do, you might want to visit http://www.thetimeinbetweenbook.com/  to see more pictures, reviews, and learn a little more about the author.

Where does the book get its title? I believe it's from this line, "Our destinies might have gone in any direction, as we succeeded in remaining unnoticed, forever on the reverse side of history, crisscrossed by stitches, invisible lives from the time in between."

This is another book that inspired a song to dance through my head. My chosen song for Sira? 'I Will Survive' by Gloria Gaynor. While not a total fit, parts of it are perfect.

Overall, I gave this book a 5 out of 5 roses. A wonderful book which I HIGHLY recommend. I'm so glad I won this wonderful book. Thank you Simon & Schuster.

María Dueñas discusses her book, 'The Time in Between':

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...