Synopses & Reviews
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 fiancé, 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. María Dueñas reminds us how it feels to be swept away by a masterful storyteller.
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
"How can a novel be both cruel and tender, dark and luminous all at the same time, and keep the reader glued to its pages with a complex, captivating narrative? MarÍa DueÑas's novel manages to make this possible with a tale that is destined to become a literary classic." --Javier Sierra, bestselling author of The Secret Supper and The Lady in Blue
“The Time in Between is a magnificent novel that flawlessly brings together history and intrigue. Sira Quiroga - the seamtress - won’t be easily forgotten.” -- Juan GÓmez-Jurado, author of The Moses Expedition
"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
"An enticing debut novel from Spain, The Time In Between is luxuriously landscaped with exotic geographies and international intrigue. MarÍa DueÑas delivers a hefty book that's as smooth to read as the tailored lines of the haute couture her unforgettable protagonist creates." -- Fabiola Santiago, author of Reclaiming Paris.
“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
"Imbued with magical realism, Barrios tale of lost loves sparkles. A gorgeously spun and deftly told tale." --Kirkus
"Barrios story combines the timeless quality of a fable with the fully imagined emotional force of a modern novel. [Her characters]...bring to the novel the embroidered richness of a family saga told and retold across generations." --Publisher's Weekly
"Carters translation of this whimsical novel offers a vivid and sultry language that perfectly reflects the Laguna family and their fantastical world. With self-healing wounds and pet cockroaches, this tale has it all. And while that can prove problematic, theres no doubt that Barrio is a wonderfully gifted storyteller." --Booklist
“Packed with engaging characters, flawlessly researched, and breathlessly paced” (Booklist, starred review)—the internationally bestselling novel about a seamstress who becomes an undercover spy for the British Secret Service during World War II.
At age twelve, Sira Quiroga swept the atelier floors. By fourteen, she began her apprenticeship as a seamstress, and within a few years was able to stitch fine fabric into breathtaking creations. Now with the Spanish civil war brewing in Madrid, Sira says goodbye to her mother and follows her lover to Morocco, but soon finds herself abandoned, penniless, and heartbroken. Sira turns to her gift for creating exquisite clothes. As the great powers are pulled into a second world war, Sira returns to Madrid, where she assumes a new identity to embark upon a dangerous undertaking: becoming embroiled in the half-lit world of espionage and political conspiracy, rife with love, intrigue, and betrayal.
A runaway bestseller across Europe, The Time in Between is one of those rare, richly textured novels that enthralls down to the last page. MarÍa DueÑas’s debut reminds us how it feels to be swept away by the skill of a masterful storyteller.
The inspiring New York Times 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. By her early twenties she has learned the ropes of the business and is engaged to a modest government clerk. But then everything changes.
Between War and Peace . . .
With the Spanish Civil War brewing in Madrid, Sira impetuously follows her handsome new lover to Morocco, but soon finds herself abandoned, penniless, and heartbroken. She reinvents herself by turning to the one skill that can save her: creating beautiful clothes.
Between Love and Duty . . .
As World War II begins, Sira is persuaded to return to Madrid, where she is the preeminent couturiere for an eager clientele of Nazi officers’ wives. She becomes embroiled in a half-lit world of espionage and political conspiracy rife with love, intrigue, and betrayal. A massive bestseller across Europe, The Time In Between is one of those rare, richly textured novels that enthrall down to the last page. MarÍa DueÑas reminds us how it feels to be swept away by a masterful storyteller.
In the tradition of Laura Esquivel's Like Water For Chocolate, The House of Impossible Loves is a novel set in twentieth-century Spain and France revolving around a family of cursed women.
An “exuberant” (El Mundo
) debut novel of a family bound by searing passions, an earthy magic, and a very unusual curse
The Laguna women suffer from an odd affliction: each generation is condemned to tragic love affairs and to give birth only to girls who are unable to escape the cruel fate of their mothers. One fateful hunting season in their small Castilian town, a young landowner arrives and begins a passionate affair with Clara Laguna, the latest in the family line, daughter of a one-eyed woman known as “the Laguna witch.” He leaves her pregnant with yet another daughter, but the seeds of change are sown. Eventually the long-awaited son—Santiago, the great-great grandson of Clara—is born. A window of hope is opened, but is the curse truly over?
Introducing a cast of memorable, eccentric characters from a bearded, mute female cook to the local do-gooding priest and the indelible Laguna women themselves, The House of Impossible Loves is a feat of imaginative storytelling that marks the arrival of a talented new novelist.
About the Author
María Dueñas is the author of the New York Times and internationally bestselling novel The Time In Between, which was translated into twenty-five languages and inspired a successful television series under the same title, as well as the highly acclaimed The Heart Has Its Reasons. She holds a PhD in English philology and is currently a professor at the University of Murcia. Dueñas has also taught at American universities, authored several academic articles, and has participated in various educational, cultural, and editorial projects. She lives in Murcia, Spain.