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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 quietly begins her own apprenticeship. By her early twenties she has learned the ropes of the business and is engaged to a modest government clerk. But everything changes when two charismatic men burst unexpectedly into her neatly mapped-out life: an attractive salesman and the father she never knew. Between War and Peace... With the Spanish Civil War brewing in Madrid, Sira leaves her mother and her fiance, impetuously following her handsome lover to Morocco. However, she soon finds herself abandoned, penniless, and heartbroken in an exotic land. Among the odd collection of European expatriates trapped there by the worsening political situation back on the Continent, Sira reinvents herself by turning to the one skill that can save her: her gift for creating beautiful clothes. Between Love and Duty... As England, Germany, and the other great powers launch into the dire conflict of World War II, Sira is persuaded to return to Madrid, where she takes on a new identity to embark upon the most dangerous undertaking of her career. As the preeminent couturier for an eager clientele of Nazi officers' wives, Sira becomes embroiled in the half-lit world of espionage and political conspiracy rife with love, intrigue, and betrayal. An outstanding success around the world, The Time in Between has sold more than two million copies and inspired the Spanish television series based on the book, dubbed by the media as the "Spanish Downton Abbey." In the US it was a critical and commercial hit, and a New York Times bestseller in paperback. It is one of those rare, richly textured novels that enthrall down to the last page. Maria Duenas reminds us how it feels to be swept away by a masterful storyteller.
About the Author
Maria Duenas holds a Ph.D. in English Philology and is a professor at the University of Murcia. She has also taught at American universities, is the author of several academic articles, and has participated in various educational, cultural, and editorial projects. She is writing her second novel.
A wonderful novel, in the good old tradition, with intrigue, love, mystery and tender, audacious and well-drawn characters." --Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Prize Laureate
“It's exciting to find a deftly paced first novel with an engaging heroine, satisfying historical detail, and emotional balance. Love it!” --Esmeralda Santiago New York Times bestselling author of Conquistadora and When I was Puerto Rican
"The Time in Between is an epic novel with an unlikely Spanish heroine, Sira Quiroga, that takes us through one of the most turbulent times in Europe: the onset of World War II. Sira travels on a journey through romance, love, loss, and intrigue, all while discovering traits that she never dreamed she had. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough, and once I reached the end, I couldn't wait to start it all over again!" --Daisy Martinez, author of Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night and Daisy's Holiday Cooking
“Maria Dueñas is a true storyteller. She weaves a spell, conjuring the heat and the glamour, the hardship and the thrill of Morocco and Spain in the late 1930s. The world of Casablanca comes to life as war breaks and Sira Quiroga, a beautiful and betrayed seamstress, is forced to discover her own strength. At a time when everyone must do what they can to survive, some will go beyond. Resistance will be formed and history will be written. Read this book and prepare to be transported.” –Kate Morton, New York Times bestselling author of The Distant Hours
"Engaging, romantic, vivid and captivating. Who knew a story about a seamstress in Spain could be so intriguing and captivating? If you love thick, juicy female-led novels that sweep you away from all sense of time and responsibility, you need to read The Time In Between by María Dueñas." - Kathy Cano-Murillo, author of Waking Up in the Land of Glitter and Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing
"Evocative, tender and lush; a wonderful experience of times and lives in turmoil." --Diana Gabaldon, author of the New York Times bestselling Outlander novels
“This thrilling debut is marked by immaculate prose and a driving narrative, establishing Dueñas as a writer to watch.” --starred Publishers Weekly review
"Packed with engaging characters, flawlessly researched, and breathlessly paced." --starred Booklist review
"It is no surprise this debut novel was a runaway success in Europe. American fans of historical fiction looking for a dramatic, uncomplicated escape will be similarly entranced." --Library Journal
"From a terrific opening line to the final page, chapters zip by at a pulsing pace." --USA TODAY