January 9, 2012
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The New Year was off to a flying start. Two books that I had put on reserve at the library came in about a week apart. I was excited that The Time in Between by Maria Duenas had finally arrived. I had requested it about a month ago after reading a review that interested me.
I always become concerned about books that are over 300 pages. I have very rarely read a book more than 300 pages that was worth the extra print. I feel if you can’t make your point or tell your story within 300 pages; well then 1,000 wouldn’t be enough. This is true of a The Time in Between (C). The first 75 – 100 pages captured my interest enough for me to rethink my large book theory. Sadly, however, the pages that followed began to drag and drag until I finally put the book down.
Sira Quiroga was raised in Madrid by her mother. She grew up not knowing who her father was. Sira, a dutiful child, followed in her mother’s footsteps and studied to become a seamstress. Things were changing in Madrid and soon the dressmaking industry was done. There was talk of war and money was scarce. But at this point, Sira was engaged to Ignacio who decided that she should study to become a civil servant as he had done. There were not many females who were in the government and if she learned to type, studied for the test and did well; she would be able to become one of the few women to have the job.
Ignacio and Sira set out to purchase a typewriter that will change their lives. It surely does. Sira falls madly in love with Ramiro, the typewriter salesman and soon she abandons Ignacio and runs off with Ramiro. I bet you can guess what happens next. Yes, Ramiro is a con man and deceives Sira, steals her newly acquired inheritance from her newly identified father and leaves her pregnant and broke in Morocco.
The dawn of Part II finds Sira becoming an established seamstress in Morocco as war rages on in Madrid. It is at the very beginning of this part, that I lost patience and stopped reading. I did some research on the book and found that other readers felt discouraged at this point too. Those that continued to read enjoyed the ending of the book more than the beginning. Sira uses her clout as a seamstress to become involved in espionage and so the story takes another turn.
It is not often that I don’t finish reading a book especially if I have already read 250 pages. I can’t really put my finger on exactly what I disliked. Probably it wasn’t moving fast enough and the story seemed ordinary. I doubt that I will pick the book up again. I’ve lost all interest and there are so many other books that I want to read. Fortunately, I’ve had no down time in between because the second requested book is terrific and I will share that with you in the next post.