The Time in Between by María Dueñas
Atria • $26 • on sale November 8, 2011


I blogged nearly a year ago (believe it or not) about a Spanish best-selling novel described as The Shadow of the Wind meets Casablanca. Readers were excited and wondered when they could get their hands on this novel.

Now I can finally give you a real answer! You can get your hands on The Time in Between by María Dueñas on November 8.

The story is about a poor seamstress who runs away with her lover (leaving her fiancé)—when then abandons her in Algiers.  She then assumes a new identity and becomes a couturiere for the wives of Nazi officers . . . and then becomes an undercover spy for the British Secret Service during World War II.

There is lots 'o' drama and passion and romantic settings in this epic story; this is the kind of book that makes you want to curl up in bed and read while you're drinking a glass of wine on a Friday night—and not put it down 'til Sunday. Here's a little preview:

"You're going off with someone else, aren't you?" he asked when I sat down beside him. He didn't look at me; he just kept his eyes fixed on the ground, on the dusty earth that the tip of his shoe was busy turning up. [...]

"He will never love you as much as I do."

And then he stood up, took up the typewriter, and began to walk with it toward the void. I watched his back moving away, walking beneath the murky light of the street lamps, perhaps suppressing an urge to dash the machine against the ground.

I kept my eyes fixed on him, watched as he left the square until his body faded into the distance, until I could no longer make him out in the autumn evening. And I would have liked to remain there crying at his absence, regretting that farewell that was so brief and so sad, blaming myself for having put an end to our hopeful plan for the future. But I couldn't. I didn't shed a single tear, didn't rain down a single reproach upon myself. Just a minute after his presence had faded, I too got up from the bench and walked away. I left behind my neighborhood, my people, my little world forever. My whole past remained there as I set out on a new stage of my life, a life that seemed luminous and whose immediate present could imagine no great glory than that of Ramiro's two arms giving me shelter.


Want to know how Sira, our protagonist (the seamstress), sets out on her new stage in life? You'll just have to read the book for yourself.

What are you reading today?

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