Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Time in Between - Book Review

On the eve of the Spanish Civil War, Sira, a young dress maker, escapes quickly with her new lover to Morocco. She leaves behind her mother, her former fiance and the father that she has just met for the first time in her life. While in Morocco, naive Sira will have her heart broken, make new friends and find her own inner strength to succeed. Later, the world is embroiled in World War II and Sira is recruited as a spy.

I read the first 200 pages of The Time in Between by Maria Duenas in a single day. I was swept up in Sira's life and the richness of the descriptions of Morocco. Maria Duenas creates a  rich and sympathetic character and the reader is immediately entranced by her story and life. However, as Sira, heartbroken, holds off the potential lovers, so too the author seems to hold the reader at arm's length. There are huge sections where the details are told yet there is no passion, no life. The novel redeems itself in the third section and Duenas reclaims the earlier thrill only to have a rushed and incomplete ending. Given that the novel is over 600 pages long there seems little reason to have a quick conclusion.

I loved Sira's character. I loved the plot. I loved the setting. But there was no real passion. I don't enjoy reading "sex scenes" and I'm pleased that this book is free of them. What I mean, is that the scenes between Sira and her main love interest are flat. In fact, there is little intense emotion evoked in any of the scenes that should do so, including when Sira's life is in danger.

I have to admit that I'm holding this book to a higher standard than many. It was better than most books. It has so many great things going for it, I just thought it could have been even better.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Time in Between through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.

1 comment:

Booklogged said...

Love your reviews but I usually add your reads to my list of 'must reads' which is growing exponentially. I have too many books I want to read, too many patterns I want to quilt, x-stitch, etc. and only a limited amount of time. Luckily, I can easily cut out housecleaning so that saves me a little bit of time!