My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Next Year in Havana
by Chanel Cleeton
February 6, 2018
Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction
After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution...
Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary...
Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.
Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.
Next year in Havana is one of those books that I took one look at and just knew that I wanted to read. The cover is breathtakingly beautiful and the blurb promised the reader an unforgettable story. I was very interested in Che Guevara in my early twenties, and I still find him to be a fascinating person. And the history of Cuba is also very interesting so guess my delight to get the chance of reading a historical fiction book set in Cuba.
Next year in Havana has a dual storyline, with one story taking place in 1958 when Batista was driven from the country and Castro took control of the country and you either stayed and took your chance with the new government or you left like the Perez family did in this book. They hoped that they would one day return to Havana, but it will not be until 2017 before a member of the Perez family will return when Marisol Ferrera travels to her family's birth country.
I particularly liked the contrast between now and then Cuba will reading the book. In many ways have time stood still in Cuba since Castro took power and through this book, one gets a glimpse both how it was during Batista's rule and the situations in the country after Castro's death. The most tragic thing is that the people just wanted to be free and they thought Castro would be the one to give back Cuba to its people. It didn't turn out that way instead they traded one terrible situation for another.
The book also promotes the reader some passionate love stories, both Elisa and Marisol found themselves swept off their feet. I guarantee if you are looking for some great love stories, then you don't need to look any further!
Next Year in Havana is a fantastic book with two equally interesting storylines. And the best thing is that there will be a sequel released about Eliza's sister Beatriz. I can't wait to read the book!
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2pYsJJY
Learn more about Next Year in Havana including downloading the book club guide and more at: http://www.chanelcleeton.com/next-year-in-havana/
Add Beatriz Perez’s story WHEN WE LEFT CUBA on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38193131-when-we-left-cuba
Praise for Next Year in Havana
Chanel Cleeton's Next Year In Havana is a flat-out stunner of a book, at once a dual-timeline mystery, a passionate romance, and paean to the tragedy and beauty of war-torn Cuba. The story of sugar heiress Elisa, watching Cuba fall into revolution as Castro rises, is intertwined with the modern-day tale of Elisa's granddaughter Marisol as she returns to Cuba after Castro's death. Both women fall for fire-brand revolutionaries, but Cuba itself emerges as their true love-interest, threatening to break both women's hearts as Elisa and Marisol each grapple in their own way with what it is to be Cuban, what it is to be an exile, and how to love and live in a homeland riven by revolution. Simply wonderful!
- Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network
Cleeton has penned an atmospheric, politically insightful, and highly hopeful homage to a lost world. Devour NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA and you, too, will smell the perfumed groves, taste the ropa vieja, and feel the sun on your face. Just a wonderful and educational book!
- Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America's First Daughter
A vivid, transporting novel. Next Year in Havana is about journeys-- into exile, into history, and into questions of home and identity. It's an engrossing read.
- David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife
An evocative, passionate story of family loyalty and forbidden love that moves seamlessly between the past and present of Cuba’s turbulent history— how one young woman’s sacrifice becomes the key to her granddaughter’s future—how culture and spirit survive against all odds. Next Year in Havana kept me enthralled and savoring every word.
- Shelley Noble, New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Beach
In Next Year in Havana, Chanel Cleeton's prose is as beautiful as Cuba itself, and the story she weaves--of exile and loss, memory and myth, forbidden love and enduring friendship--is at once sweeping and beautifully intimate. This is a moving, heartfelt, and gorgeously realized story that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
- Jennifer Robson, USA Today bestselling author of Somewhere in France
Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1545366192398558/