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The Time in Between

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  19,265 Ratings  ·  2,523 Reviews
The inspiring international bestseller of a seemingly ordinary woman who uses her talent and courage to transform herself first into a prestigious couturier and then into an undercover agent for the Allies during World War II.

Between Youth and Adulthood…

At age twelve, Sira Quiroga sweeps the atelier floors where her single mother works as a seamstress. At fourteen, she qui
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Paperback, 609 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Atria Books (first published June 2009)
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Kimberly The book does deal with the time in between the wars, so the title kinda works in that regard...I wondered if it didn't have both meanings, since she…moreThe book does deal with the time in between the wars, so the title kinda works in that regard...I wondered if it didn't have both meanings, since she was also a dressmaker. The Seamstress was probably a simplified compromise for one of the English translations. When I originally researched the novel the wiki I found said it was released under both titles. If you have not seen it, the series based on this book on Netflix from Atena 3 is OUTSTANDING.(less)

Community Reviews

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Book Him Danno
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 wi ...more
Jim Fonseca
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spanish-authors
Part historical novel, part spy novel, part romance, this book has a good story. A young woman grows up in poverty in Spain just before the Spanish Civil War. She works as an apprentice to her mother in a dress-making shop in Madrid. She sees another world as she goes in servant entrances to mansions making deliveries of dresses. Her awareness of these “two worlds” influences her when she reaches marriage age because she dumps the local guy who loves her and she runs off with a con man who is fl ...more
Tea Jovanović
Ko voli špansku književnost i odlično napisan roman ovu knjigu nikako ne treba da propusti... Bila je veliki hit u Španiji i svuda u svetu osim u Srbiji... Prevod je dobar, knjiga se guta u dahu... posebna poslastica za sve koji uživaju u debeljuškastim knjigama...
U međuvremenu su Šanci snimili i odličnu seriju po ovoj knjizi... :) Ima je na Netflixu... :)
Elizabeth
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of The Far Pavilions, Perfume, The Book Theif
Wow. I devoured this book. It pretty much hit all the right notes for me: exotic places, a little romance (but not too much), spies, MI6, deception, and fashion. I always seem to resonate with the international bestsellers. The Far Pavillions is a favorite, as is Perfume. Anyway, I recommend this book highly. With two full time jobs, a child, and a novel that I'm revising, the fact that I finished it in three days should sufficiently recommend it.
Dr.
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being an English Major I am very critical of literature. I will pick a book a part(because I can). I began reading this because it was ent to me to review. I wasn't looking forward to it at all. I was actually dreading it. So I began reading it with a terrible attitude & knew I was going to be critical(probably unjustly) in my review.
I began the book while waiting for a doctor's appointment with a doctor who is routinely at least 1 hour behind schedule. I had to keep rereading the beginning
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Pequete
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
Há já algum tempo que um livro não me fazia ficar acordada até tarde para acabar de ler as últimas mais de 100 páginas. Aconteceu ontem (ou deveria dizer hoje, pois já passava da uma da manhã quando terminei), com esta história complexa mas muito bem urdida, que mistura na perfeição personagens ficcionais com personagens históricas e nos faz viajar pela guerra civil espanhola e pela Primeira Grande Guerra, por Espanha, Marrocos e também, um bocadinho, por Portugal. A escrita, sem ser deslumbrant ...more
B the BookAddict
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Angela M

I, in some small degree, ruined this book for myself by reading another book also set in Morocco at the same time. TTIB deserves to be read singularly. It provides for the reader a wonderfully insightful look at Spain and Morocco in the 1930s, setting in place events regarding the involvement of the Germans as they struggled to influence the Spanish government. In the middle of all this is Sira, a talented seamstress who finds herself in the unenviable position of spying for the British governme
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Jacqie
Sep 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didnt-finish
So, I actually got 400 pages into this one before deciding to put it down for good. Why didn't I finish?

The book is 600 pages long, and the action part of the book (spying ) doesn't get started for 350 pages. The first half of the book is all character development and set-up. Unfortunately, 400 pages into the book, I really don't have a good idea who our heroine is. She says she's uneducated, yet is some sort of social chameleon who gets by on faking her way through everything. And you know, tha
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Nancy
Oct 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a good historical novel. This one has elements I am familiar with; Germans and Nazis, mixed with elements I knew little about - the Spanish Civil War, the leadership bought by the Nazis and how the Allies dealt with attempts to keep Spain out of WWII.

There are four parts to the book but all are told by Sira's perspective. Sira is a humble seamstress in Madrid, helping in the shop where her mother works. She learns skills, is promoted, meets a nice boy, gets engaged then runs off with anot
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Ellen
Jun 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
As it takes place during the Spanish Civil War (albeit seen from the distance of North Africa)and World War II, I was very interested in the setting of the book, as I don't know much about what was going on in Spain during this period. The premise is very promising: a young, poor Spanish seamstress is ruined by love and has to create herself anew as a seamstress to the high society of Tunisia. I was interested during the first two parts of the book, especially as world events start to creep into ...more
Frances
A Tad Long But Overall A Pleasant Read.
This novel begins in Spain just before World War II. It was a commendable book although a tad long where some chapters could have been condensed to keep the reader from becoming bored. The main character Sira, was a dressmaker for several rich women who were married to high ranking German officials. While Sira created outfits for these women, she would listen to their gossip and soon found herself taking a much different direction in life than she could eve
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Eirini
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eνδιαφερουσα ιστορία αλλά σε αρκετά σημεία γινόταν πολύ βαρετή και νομίζω οτι γι'αυτό φταίει η αφήγηση σε πρώτο πρόσωπο και η φλυαρία του κειμένου.Η πρωταγωνίστρια κάποιες φορές γίνεται "εκνευριστικά" ικανή ,μεταμορφώνεται απο σχεδόν αμόρφωτο κορίτσι σε σοφιστικέ κυρία πολύ εύκολα κι αυτό λίγο δεν με έπεισε,όπως επίσης δεν με έπεισε και ο τρόπος που της έρχονται όλα βολικά.Ακόμα και ο λόγος που έγινε κατάσκοπος και έβαλε τον εαυτό της σε τέτοιο κίνδυνο μου φάνηκε λίγο ανεπαρκής,δεν με κάλυψε.Συμ ...more
Liviu
I will have a full review on FBC in early November and I will c/p it here so for now several quick points:

- the book is indeed a page turner and you never really know when time passes reading it; I was shocked to see it ending and I could have read another 600 pages easily - the ending is good and satisfying but the book could have gone on for a while more for sure

- a first narration and the voice starts a bit slow - one thing I cannot abide is silly narrators and for the first 70-80 pages Sira
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Vaso
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readathon-17
Η Σίρα, ερωτεύεται παράφορα τον Ραμίρο και τον ακολουθεί τυφλά στην Ταγγέρη. Μετά από λίγους μήνες ξεγνοιασιάς, εκείνος την εγκαταλείπει μόνη, κλέβοντας τα κοσμήματα που της άφησε ο πατέρας της. Βρίσκεται μόνη σε μια χώρα που δεν γνωρίζει κανέναν, χρεωμένη μέχρι το λαιμό και με διάφορες κατηγορίες να τη βαραίνουν. Σιγά σιγά καταφέρνει να σταθεί στα πόδια της και να γνωρίσει νέους και ενδιαφέροντες ανθρώπους. Της προτείνουν να επαναπατριστεί, αλλά με άλλη ταυτότητα και να μπει παρασκηνιακά στο πα ...more
Margie
Fun, exciting and exotic! I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but that is part of the reason I chose this book - such a beautiful cover. The book takes place in Madrid, Morocco and Portugal during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Part romance, part spy novel, part historical fiction (including some characters who really existed), this book was a page turner. I loved all the locales, but especially the parts set in Morocco.
Susana
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(review in English below)

3,5*

O livro é muito bom e mereceria bem as quatro estrelas - é um romance histórico bem escrito, bem pesquisado, bem ambientado.

Só tive pena que a autora não tivesse conseguido transmitir mais emoção - tudo é contado e descrito duma forma que me pareceu distanciada, de tal maneira que mesmo os episódios mais emocionantes não me fizeram sentir... nada, a não ser vontade de continuar a ler para saber o que aconteceria a seguir.

Mas o pior foi o Epílogo, em que María Dueñas
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Laura
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
He leído este libro por recomendación de una amiga y también por la de los miles de lectores mencionados en la solapa, pero yo personalmente no sé si lo recomendaría.
No comprendo por qué este libro no me ha gustado más. Tiene todos los ingredientes de la clase de literatura que más me ha gustado siempre: la época de la guerra civil española y la posguerra, las historias de mujeres, la conexión entre el mundo hispano y el anglosajón... Tal vez me encuentro simplemente en una etapa diferente de mi
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Laura
Read by Zilah Mendoza
Length 21.8 hrs
• UNABRIDGED

This is the story of a young seamstress and her mother during the Spanish Civil War. After being engaged with a government clerk, Sira falls in love with a salesman and decides to fly with him to Morocco.

In the meantime, she met the father she never knew.

By returning to Spain, she then becomes an undercover agent for the Allies during World War II.

This is a story with a first-person narrator which makes the narrative quite long and too boring in
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Morana Mazor
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Vrijeme između krojenja"; Jedna od knjiga koje se zaista teško ispuštaju iz ruku...Neka vas ne odbije preko 650str.... Ja se ne sjećam kada sam zadnji put ovako opsežnu knjigu pročitala u ovako kratkom vremenu.. Priča sama po sebi nije ništa novo i, dosad, neviđeno - pratimo sudbinu Sire Qiuiroge mlade krojačice iz Madrida... Ali ta je sudbina, ah...toliko zanimljiva da grozničavo okrećeš stranice u iščekivanju događaja... Iako se radnja događa u prvoj polovici 20st. (1. i 2. svj. rat), Sira ga ...more
Dee
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maggie
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lost in translation? Not a bit of it.

I often find that books written in another language are never quite the same when translated and when I first began to read this book, it seemed a little flat, even though the story was moving on quite quickly. However, after a very short time, things really started to pick up and from then on, I couldn't put it down.

Set in the time of the Spanish Civil War and the run up to World War II, the book is set partly in Spain and then in Morocco and follows the for
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Marian
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Yes,this was a brilliant book!!!I couldn't turn the pages past enough to see what was next:)It is a big book,I know,but if your enjoying the story,the pages will fly by.

The novel follows Sira from her early days in Madrid as an impetuous teenager in love with a con man, to Morocco as a bankrupt criminal, to Tetouan as a couturier businesswoman, back to Madrid, and then to Lisbon to spy on the Germans.

Duenas stitches together Sira's world of espionage with her job as a dressmaker. Sira's skills t
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Annie Modesitt
It wasn't that the book was bad, it was an interesting story. But the author teased out elements of the story in such an unsatisfactory way that it was painful. Then, breathlessly, she'd practically leap over the pertinent piece of information in a coy manner;

[paraphrasing]
"I looked through the peep hole, and saw the person I expected to see. I let them in [blah, blah, blah]"

And then just before the end of the chapter she'd FINALLY toss in who'd been at the door. Just odd.

The whole book had this
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Skye Skye
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every so often I encounter a novel that keeps me mesmerized and enchanted, This novel is a masterpiece in writing, story telling, characterization, plot and setting. Told in first-person narrative, this is also a character- driven book; the reader sees, feels and experiences everything through the protagonist's perspective, and yet there are many mysterious areas unexplored. I applaud Sira's bravery, quiet dignity and immense adaptability. She also exudes an innocence and a lack of selfish moti ...more
Robyn
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was written in the first person but there was one section where it reverted to third person as the character who was writing the story could not have known what was happening in that section as it was occurring in another country. Then, at the end of the chapter the narrator said that they had discovered the information through letters that had arrived from another character. What sort of advice was this writer receiving from her editor? Obviously not good advice as I could see a way o ...more
César Lasso
Cuatro estrellitas y media. A pesar de su extensión considerable, la novela mantiene el interés y parece bien documentada. Lo que más me ha gustado es la ambientación en el norte de Marruecos en los tiempos del colonialismo.
Amra Isović
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ovo je za mene bio čist užitak.knjiga puna historije,zabavnih i intrigantnih likova, ispunjena s mnogo detalja ali sa takvim stilom i neusiljenošću da je to na nivou umjetnosti.Knjiga koju vrijedi pročitati i koja vas neće ostaviti ravnodušnim ni jednog trenutka.Hvala Maria :-)
Ana
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: estante, 2017
O melhor livro que li este ano!
A intriga está bem desenvolvida e as personagens são interessantes, particularmente a protagonista! O background histórico leva-nos por caminhos da época da II GM menos explorados pelas publicações mais "vistas" dos últimos anos, nomeadamente o envolvimento da Espanha Franquista no conflito.
Dora
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ΑΠΟΓΟΗΤΕΥΣΗ... εδωσε μια στον επιλογο και τιναξε ολο το στορυ(το οποιο παρα την πολυλογια του ηταν καλο και ρομαντικο παρα τις δυσκολιες του πολεμου) Γιατι?? Γιατι το κανουν αυτο οι συγγραφεις?? και ουτε δικαιολογια, ουτε σχολιο,...... κριμα
Shane
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had to reluctantly let this book go after reading about 120 pages. There were several aspects that I could not overcome in order to keep ploughing through its 600 plus pages. Perhaps it's me, perhaps I am suffering from reader fatigue and have lost my patience with books that do not get to their point, especially in an age when publishers expect (nay, demand) that the novel's trajectory be clear by the end of the first chapter.

I picked up this book as I was interested in learning about Morocco
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María Dueñas Vinuesa was born on 1964 in Puertollano, Spain. She is a professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Murcia, and is also an academic author and has worked at different universities in North America. She came into the spotlight in 2009, achieving great success in Spain thanks to her first novel, El tiempo entre costuras, published in English language as The Time i ...more
More about María Dueñas...
“My fear didn't want to be left behind, so it came with me.” 29 likes
“Y descubrí también, con la más inmensa desazón, que en cualquier momento y sin causa aparente, todo aquello que creemos estable puede desajustarse, desviarse, torcer su rumbo y empezar a cambiar.” 15 likes
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