Book Review: The Seamstress by Maria Duenas

The Time In BetweenMaria Duenas- The Seamstress (aka: The Time In Between)

Format- Paperback

Source- review copy by Pan Macmillan

Synopsis: The Time In Between is a word-of-mouth phenomenon that catapulted María Dueñas, a debut author, to the top of Spain’s bestseller lists.

This sweeping novel, which combines the storytelling power of The Shadow of the Wind with the irresistible romance of Casablanca, moves at an unstoppable pace. Suddenly left abandoned and penniless in Algiers by her lover, Sira Quiroga forges a new identity. Against all odds she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. But she is soon embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy as she passes information to the British Secret Service through a code stitched into the hems of her dresses.

Review: This is a brilliant story that follows a young woman before and during the war and her escapades across the globe in Spain, England and Morocco. At over 600 pages, it is quite a lengthy novel but completely engaging, set in the 1930s and 1940s.

The protagonist, Sira is a naïve, passive young woman early in the story. She leaves behind a comfortable existence with her fiancé and her doting mother and flees the country with her new lover as the war dawns on Spain. When the relationship comes to an abrupt ending, leaving Sira high and dry with no money, no home and no one to turn to in foreign Morocco she has to find a way to start over. In doing so, she returns to her roots as a seamstress. She with a lot of hard work she starts up a store and starts on a path of success. Soon, Sira’s skills branches out to spy work with the British Secret Service. I was completely enthralled by this story and was thrust into Sira’s world of heartbreak, loss, grief and hope.

Remarkable character development and expression of emotional experience fashioned by the author, Maria Duenas. She does wonders in transporting the reader back in time, with a solid foundation in setting, time and place. The voice and writing style was engaging and intelligent.

Highly recommended if you enjoy historical fiction that strays away from the typical historical romance stories currently on the market.

4.5/5 rating

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