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The Time In Between

The Time In Between

A Novel

  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
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.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 640 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451616897 | 
  • July 2012
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The Time In Between

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.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Time in Between includes an introduction and discussion questions for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

INTRODUCTION

The Time in Between by Maria Dueñas is an international bestseller that spans the Spanish Civil War to World War II. This beautifully spun novel tells the story of a seamstress who rises to become the most sought-after couturiere and an undercover spy who passes information about the Nazi regime to the British Secret Service through a secret code stitched into the hems of her dresses. The Shadow of the Wind meets Casablanca in this sweeping and artfully crafted debut

TOPICS & QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. The first sentence of the book, “A typewriter shattered my destiny” is an example of the author’s use of foreshadowing of future events. Were you immediately drawn into the story? Were you curious to know whose destiny was shattered and why?

2. What's Sira's relationship with her mother like at the outset of The Time in Between? In what ways does it change throughout the course of the story? Do you think that Sira becomes engaged because she's really in love, or because of pressure see more

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Posted by Off the Shelf Staff

These 7 beautifulnovelswritten by Latin American womenexplorethe magic of story-telling; the power of food;poignant romance; heartbreak and deep joy; complex issues of identity, nationality, and gender; and intimate tales of growing up and coming...

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About the Author

Maria Duenas
© Pilot Press

Maria Duenas

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.

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