You will need to read The Seamstress by Maria Duenas to find out why.
I am fickle when it comes to choosing books. This one was chosen purely on the front cover. I love the art of Jack Vettriano who is Fife born. Fife is the county in which I was born. I should say Kingdom, not county, as Fife is known as the Kingdom of Fife.
You may know of The Singing Butler, one of his more famous prints.
“Read this book and be prepared to be transported”, that on the front cover also influenced me.
From the cover:
1935: As turmoil brews in Europe, Sira Quirog’s carefully mapped-out life is thrown into chaos, first by love, then betrayal. Abandoned and alone, all she has are her skills as a seamstress, a talent that could not only save her but may influence the course of a war….
When the glamorous circles of high society and the shadowy world of espionage collide, Sira is confronted with a terrifying decision, with only one possible choice.
From the haute couture ateliers of old Madrid to the exotic souqs of Morocco, The Seamstress is the inspiring journey of an extraordinary young woman who embraces destiny, braving life-or-death stakes and risking everything, for love.
This is a brilliant story that follows a young woman before and during the war and her adventures in Spain, Portugal and Morocco. It is quite a lengthy novel, 615 pages, but completely engaging, set in the 1930s and 1940s.
I devoured this book. It pretty much hit all the right notes for me: exotic places, a little romance (but not too much), spies, MI6, deception, fashion and it goes on my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge list.
A wonderful novel full of intrigue, love and adventure.