Fiction Historical Recommendations

The Time in Between by María Dueñas

Though it’s a novel, The Time in Between reads more like an autobiography of the most incredible woman you’ve ever met. Reading it is a commitment – it’s a long historical fiction that requires more than a few Google breaks to research the significance of a name or event – but the payoff is absolutely worth it.

The book opens in the early 1900’s in Madrid, a city on the brink of a civil war. Young Sira Quiroga works as a seamstress apprentice in the atelier where her single mother sews to makes ends meet. Sira’s life has been mapped out since she was born: she will marry a steady, respectable man and work as a seamstress until it’s time to have children. But when she meets the charming Ramiro, her life’s trajectory changes dramatically and irreversibly. After receiving an incredible sum of money from her estranged father, Sira and Ramiro escape the imminent war and relocate to Morocco, a veritable melting pot of customs and people during the widespread unrest of the early twentieth century.

Even though the young couple has escaped the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, the rest of the world is entering into WWII and the hardships and adventures in Sira’s life are far from over. In a series of unexpected events, the meek and sheltered young woman must transform herself to weather the consequences of her choices and find a place in a drastically changing world.

This accounts for no more than the first sixty pages of a six-hundred-page book, but the novel is so twisty and compelling, to divulge any more would spoil all the fun. So I’ll just say that the fun includes subterfuge, romance, fashion, self-reinvention, and best of all, fightin’ Nazis!

And if you’re into the premise, but not so much the six hundred pages, you can enjoy all the thrills of the book in the stunning, addicting TV series, The Time in Between or El Tiempo Entre Costuras, on Netflix. Because if there’s one thing better than binging an awesome show, it’s binging an awesome show with 1930’s fashion and a Moroccan landscape.

 

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