Published: 2009 in Spanish, 2011 in English
Genre: historical fiction
Length: 615 pages
Setting: Spain, Morocco, and Portugal, between the Spanish Civil War in 1923 and the end of WWII
Summary: Sira is the daughter of a dressmaker and training to become one herself. Her life changes when she falls in love with a handsome rake, Ramiro Arribas, and starts to live the high life with him. They move to Morocco and Sira continues to focus her life on Ramiro. That comes crashing down when he leaves her with an outstanding hotel bills and steals her money and jewels. She has a year to work off the debt and opens a high-class atelier using money gained when her landlady fences some guns. As a dressmaker, she meets Rosalind Fox, lover of the leader of the town. These connections bring Sira into the world of espionage. She starts gathering information for the British. The British even send her back to Madrid to keep tabs on the social lives of the high-ranking Germans trying to curry Spanish favor during WWII.
Final thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. It had a bit of a slow start where I thought it was just going to be about a high-society girl following a handsome guy. The plot and my interest picked up when Sira was left on her own and had to figure out what she was going to do with herself. It wasn’t enough to just follow a man around. She had to make a plan for herself. Luckily, she made some good friends, like her landlady and Rosalind, that made her think about her future.
I know very little about the Spanish Revolution and Spain’s role in WWII. Therefore, even though the book is about historical events, I never knew what was going to happen next. Once Sira got into the espionage portion of her life, I was hooked. A fancy dressmaker’s shop was the perfect place to gather gossip. Sira was quite impressive in her ability to project a persona and get herself out of situations just based on attitude.
Title comes from: Not an obvious one. It seems to come from the Spanish title that translates roughly as The Time Between the Seams, referring to Sira’s occupation as a dressmaker.
Reading challenges fulfilled: book #49 for the year
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