The Time in Between. María Dueñas. New York: Atria Books, 2011
In between lines
The time I spent working on a bookstore was full of intrigues. Although I was just there for almost two years, I could notice that the clients came and went most of the time asking for a single book. They did not always buy it but they wanted to know or whatever…
Human beings could be so lazy and curious at the same time.
María Dueñas’ El tiempo entre costuras reached the top of all the possible selling lists that anyone could find anywhere. I guess it still does, but I no longer work as sales associate, therefore I am probably not reliable enough.
Nevertheless, curious for knowing which kind of phenomena they were so noisily talking about, I have taken the book getting to know it first hand.
Maybe the fact of not being part of the bookstore was necessary for me and this is why I have waited for so long: now that I am living abroad, I realise is the proper time.
And you may think “What have you found inside that novel?” “Was it exciting?” “Has it trapped you?”, well I can tell it has not exactly that “extraordinary” taste I consider a good novel should have, but it links properly with particular emotions of particular people which my country is full of right now:the bored ones and the mature women.
Do not get me wrong: I am not saying a young girl could not possibly enjoy this book, of course she could! They actually do most of the time, because (I think I have spoken about this before) this is how publishing world goes on.
Women read more than men. Women go to the cinema more than men. But belive me: women are not always dumber than men, I have got to know big amounts of silly ladies and piles of intelligent men as well as exactly the opposite. Please, senior editors worldwide: make an effort and try not to be so discriminator, because it not always work.
El tiempo entre costuras was first published on 2009. As I have also worked for three years as editor assistant, I dare say this type of story was being written many times by different anonymous writers before, but never so clearly targeted. Dealing with plots, while haunting portraits are always fascinating and love stories will never die, historic recognizable events are definitive. Tell readers their truth by means of written words, and you will win a follower for the rest of your life.
On the one hand, what means exactly the truth in Spain nowadays? The truth is not having work to earn a life, be forced to move or travel far from your family, fight against all odds to consider yourself a positive person and not give up. Being like Sira Quiroga, maybe.
On the other hand, relate a woman in her sixties what happened in Spain during the Civil War, explain her by detail how seamstresses worked that sad period of time, include in the story real characters being in contact with fictional ones and finally: do not conclude it, leave it open.
In case you are an active working man that has read the book and you have kept on reading this until the end, I beg your pardon: the ways of literature are unpredictable and you never know when one may be wrong.