Review | Sands of Time by Sidney Sheldon

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Sands of Time by Sidney Sheldon
Published by HarperCollins on August 23, 1996
Pages: 427

THE BLURB

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Four nuns find themselves suddenly thrust into a hostile world they long ago abandoned for the safety of the convent. Unwittingly they become pawns in a battle between the charismatic Jaime Miró, leader of the outlawed Basque nationalists, and the ruthless Colonel Ramón Acoca of the Spanish Amy.

Four women – and the men they are forbidden to love.
Megan – the orphan, who feels an overpowering attraction to Jaime.
Lucia – the fiery Sicilian beauty on the run for murder – and Rubio Arzano, the freedom fighter who risks his life to save her.
Teresa – whose guilty conscience finally drives her to betray her friends.
Graciela – who bears a terrible secret that almost destroys her – and the courageous Ricardo who loves her.

From the same author of the books “The Other Side of Midnight”, “Rage of Angels”, “Bloodline” and “Windmills of the Gods”. The book is set in Spain and centres around four nuns and their unwitting involvement with outlawed Basque nationalists and the Spanish Army.

MY THOUGHTS

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If reality doesn’t require a person to work, do the chores, and go to sleep, I would’ve finished this book in a single sitting. The story was so riveting right from page one. It will hold you tight and it doesn’t let go. Set in Spain in a time of political unrest, Sands of Time brought us a story of love and violence, of faith and passion, of war and loyalty. And of nuns and their unintentional team-up with Spain’s most wanted rebels! Now that’s something I haven’t seen before! And that just made me all the more intrigued about this book.  

“The difference between a rebel and a patriot depends upon who is in power at the moment.”

I have professed my love for fiction fused with real history before so it’s no surprise that I instantly loved this book. Sidney Sheldon did a splendid job merging the two —not too much politics that could make a story boring and not too much fiction that could make a story a bit unbelievable. Sheldon made just the right blend of suspense, danger, and romance to keep his readers drawn to the book. All that and a realistic depiction of beautiful yet war-torn country. What’s not to like?

“I used to believe that one person could not make a difference. But I know now that that is not true. Jesus made a difference, and Mohammed and Gandhi and Einstein and Churchill.”

Here, we follow five different lives, each one perfectly fleshed-out that it was hard to choose a favorite. I was most drawn to Jaime Miro’s character though. I guess it’s how the story started with Jaime being both smart and aggressive about rescuing his comrades that had me so interested in his character. He’s one of the leaders of Basque rebels fighting for a passionate cause. But what really impressed me is his elusiveness.

Fate had made Jaime and his fellow rebels cross paths with the four nuns who escaped from the military raid from a nearby Cistercian convent. Each nun had their own secrets and rough past. Sister Megan, wanted for two murders, entered the convent to hide from the authorities. Sister Teresa locked herself in the convent to avoid facing the man who broke her heart. Sister Graciela, with her eye-catching beauty, became a nun to cleanse herself from the sin she had committed as a child. And Sister Megan, undoubtedly my favorite among the four, ended up in the convent because she has nowhere to go after she reached the age limit of the orphanage that sheltered her. Sheldon had his way of making you care about his characters. With perfectly timed backstories we get to know each nun deeper as the story goes.

“I’m sure that whatever changed is only temporary. It will change again.”

There’s one point in the book where it got really violent. There were horrible images of rape that other readers may find disturbing. It was ugly and I hate it and I couldn’t find a reason why the author had to put that in there except, maybe, to add some drama to the story? Or maybe he wants to give his character an unforgettable exit? If it was the latter then I guess it worked because no way I’m gonna forget about that particular character anytime soon.

Perhaps this story, overall, was predictable. Perhaps the romance (all three of them) happened so suddenly without so much of a groundwork and the “I love you’s” were given pretty quickly and easily here but I didn’t care. And that’s something coming from me who despises predictable plots and frowns at romance that lacks foundation. The awesomeness of the whole trek gave me more fun than I anticipate. And the fun just cancelled out the minor issues I have.

Sands of Time is a nicely executed novel. I had so much fun reading it. If you ever find yourself on a hunt for romance, danger, betrayal, action, intrigue, and a bit history molded with fiction, this book has it.

BEAST POINTS

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