What a wonderful book- The Time In Between by Maria Duenas. This book was a Spanish bestseller and via word of mouth, has spread internationally.
The book offers romance, intrigue and a long saga- my favorite combination. Set in Spain and Morocco, Sira Quiroga is abandoned and has to create a new persona for herself. She is the quintessential survivor character. She then becomes successful and subsequently involved in political espionage during World War II.
I thoroghly enjoyed Duenas’ writing. She specializes, I think, in instant character development. In describing Ignacio, Sira’s fiance, Duenas writes:
“The son of a Castilian widow who kept her well-counted money under the mattress, he lived intermittently in insignificant boarding houses and was an eager applicant for bureaucratic jobs as well as the perpetual candidate for any ministry who would offer him a salary for life.”
Describing Ramiro Arribas, Sira’s future lover, Duenas writes,
“… had a past filled with comings and goings and a capacity for seduction so powerful that not even a concrete wall could have contained it. First came attraction, doubt and anxiety. Then passion, and the abyss. I drank in the air he breathed and I walked beside him, floating six inches above the cobblestones.”
This is a must-read book for 2011.
Simon & Schuster provided a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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