I am going to be honest. I said I would read this book because I think I need to read more women authors and more foreign writers, just to get out of my comfort zone. But when I finally got it in my hands and read the synopsis, I was scared because it dealt with a lot of things I tend to avoid (1). What will I have in common with a pre-World War II seamstress1 as she deals with love and intrigue in southern Europe? But being the dutiful guy I am, I took it to work to read during my time off —to, at least, make a start. That was a mistake, a big mistake, because… Bloody hell, this book rocked (2)!!!
I was distracted at work for the rest of the day and immediately devoured (3) this book as soon as I got home —all 600 pages of it. People like to talk about the skill of the writing as if that is what made a good book, but in reality it is voice and story, and the author has this in spades2.
The story is very exciting and slowly grabs (4) you, so much that you do not notice how tightly it has trapped you. The Time In Between just flows beautifully as the pages go by.
The most vivid aspect for me was the society that the heroine had to operate in, pre-WWII Spain and Morocco. It was dedicated to seeing who was loyal to the cause, forcing people to choose sides in a “nobody wins” situation. But as in all unfair dominion situations, you begin to lose all trust in those around you, even those that are closest. When you can’t trust (5) anyone, you have no family, and that is the beginning of death for any society. Our heroine survived because in even the worst of situations she was always able to find someone to trust.
- 1 Seamstress: costurera
- 2 In spades: muchísimo, de sobra
1. Link each of the words/expressions below with a word/expression in the column (as numbered in the text). Copy the correct pair of words on your answer sheet. [1 mark]
read quickly and eagerly - keep away from - capture - be excellent - believe
- (1) avoid and … KEEP AWAY FROM
- (2) rock and … BE EXCELLENT
- (3) devour and … READ QUICKLY AND EAGERLY
- (4) grab and … CAPTURE
- (5) trust and … BELIEVE
2.1. Choose the best option. Copy the complete correct option on your answer sheet. [0.75 marks]
- a) doubted that he should read this novel as it was written by a foreign female author.
- b) is not comfortable with scary novels written by female foreign writers.
- c) knew he would not like the book the moment it fell in his hands.
- d) not only liked this novel… He loved it!
2.2. Choose the best option. Copy the complete correct option on your answer sheet. [0.75 marks]
- a) What this reader enjoyed the most about this book was the writing technique rather than the story.
- b) This reader thinks what makes a book good is what it says, not how it is said.
- c) This reader found the story fascinating, but he disliked the geographical background.
- d) Even though she could not trust anyone, the heroine in TTIB managed to survive.
3. Complete the sentences using information from the text. Do not reproduce phrases from the text literally, unless this is unavoidable. [2 marks]
- a) The synopsis …
- b) As the reader was …
- c) A good book …
- d) There was always ...
4. Complete each gap with one or more adequate words. Do not copy the complete text on your sheet, only letters (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) followed by the word(s) that you find suitable for the gap. [1.5 marks]
There are four parts to the book but all (a) ARE/HAVE BEEN told from Sira’s perspective. Sira is a humble seamstress in Madrid, helping in the shop (b) WHERE her mother works. She learns skills, is promoted, meets a nice (c) GUY/MAN/BOY/GENTLEMAN/PERSON, gets engaged and then runs off with another man (d) WHO is not a good man and abandons her. This part is setting the stage for what Sira does next (e) AND explains her reasons for not wanting romantic involvement, and it also explains (f) (THE REASON) WHY she ended up in Morocco.
5. What is this novel about and where is the story set? Justify your answer WITH INFORMATION FROM THE TEXT BUT USING YOUR OWN WORDS. (25-50 words) [2 marks]
6. Have you read any book lately? Explain what it was about and why you liked it. Please, use your own ideas and your own words. (25-50 words) [2 marks]