Spain: A Woman on a Mission

I have read a lot of Spanish books, but I realized they were usually set back in the days, or written a long time ago, so for this challenge I wanted something a bit more modern. Well, technically I did not end up reading a modern-day book, but at least it was written in our times, so close enough. I have not read many bestsellers during my journey around the globe, so it was nice to read something that many others have read as well. The book I chose was The Seamstress by María Dueñas.

There is turmoil in Europe due to the war. Sira is leading a fairly happy life in Madrid with the man she loves. They leave for Morocco, and then he ends up leaving her high and dry. Suddenly she must take care of herself. The only thing she really knows is how to sew, because that is what her mother was doing. Sewing is how she gets to know all the rich and famous women who need new dresses. A secret and dangerous mission takes her back to Madrid, and she gets involved in the war as a spy.

It is a nice story and the setting is interesting, but the book was a bit too long, 600 pages. I enjoyed reading about what Spain, Morocco, and Portugal were like during the Second World War, especially since the book was not about the war itself. The book is more about Sira and her life, the strange people in her life and different situations she just seemed to end up in. naturally the war is lurking in the background, but even though she was spying it was not a book about war.

I am fascinated that a woman who was not used to take care of herself finds the means to do it, albeit some of the things she did, or had to do, were questionable. The characters in the book made it worth the read. I can understand that this book has captivated a lot of readers, mostly women, I presume. Although this is not one of my favourite reads, I still liked it.

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