I was surprised to find out that The Time in Between is the first novel by Maria Duenas. The beautiful way she spins the tale of the seamstress Sira Quiroga, and the relationships she builds in Spain and Morocco, speaks to much more writing experience than a debut. While reading I was wrapped up in both the dramas of Sira’s personal and professional lives as well as the greater Spanish Civil War. After two surprising men dramatically alter her life, Sira relies on her professional strengths as a seamstress to plant her roots in her new country of Morocco and rebuild. Gradually elevating herself in society's esteem and making well-connected friends along the way results in adventures and intrigue that take her back to Spain and the life she thought she left behind. Uniquely situated to learn the secrets of her clinets' spouses in the administration, Sira becomes entangled in the greater political affairs of the region as a spy. Highly recommended as an engaging historical fiction read, this is the story of a woman who loses everything, begins anew through her own merits in a foreign land, and leads a life she could not have imagined.