It’s not often that I see a film version of a book and think it’s better than the original source. Just this week I finished watching the seventeen episode mini-series, The Time In Between, based on the book of the same name by Maria Duenas. I liked the series so much, even more than I enjoyed the book, which I read a couple of years ago. It’s set in Spain following its civil war and during the early days of World War II. Sira, the protagonist, is a young seamstress who is betrayed by her lover and finds herself penniless, pregnant, and alone in a foreign country. She pulls herself out of this pit of misery and becomes a successful dressmaker. She is later recruited to spy upon the Germans in Madrid, to learn their secrets, and pass this information on to the British. This is where the story becomes intriguing and suspenseful.
Like I said, I enjoyed the novel, but the mini-series is superb. The characters come to life, especially Sira, as played by the lovely Spanish actress Adriana Ugarte. Ugarte brings emotional depth to a character who seemed somewhat cold and remote as written for the book. The music, the scenery, and the costumes, serve to create a credible vision of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco in the late 1930s and early 1940s. I loved it!