This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Womens Fiction
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Berkley Books
Length: 11 hours, 16 minutes
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound ◊ iBooks ◊ Audible
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.
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
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Next Year in Havana is a beautiful story that tells a family’s story through a dual narrative. The Perez family was forced to leave Cuba after the revolution that had put Fidel Castro in power. Although their family may have been exiled, their love for Cuba had never dimmed. When they left, they figured that they would come back once Fidel’s regime ended, only he lasted far longer than they ever expected. In the case of Elisa Perez, Marisol Ferrera’s grandmother, she passed away just months before Fidel died. She would never again step foot in her beloved country.
Elisa Perez had made Cuba very real for her granddaughter Marisol. Marisol had grown up with a romanticized version of Cuba in her mind and after her grandmother passed, Marisol was excited to fulfill her grandmother’s last request. Elisa had requested that her ashes be returned to Cuba, only she did not specify where she wanted them spread, she felt that Marisol would know where she would have wanted her ashes spread. Marisol for her part was both nervous and excited about her trip to Cuba. She knew that going there came with its own risks but she was desperate to see Cuba for herself and discover more about her grandmother and her past.
When Marisol landed in Cuba her first contact was with her grandmother’s childhood friend’s grandson, Luis. From the start Luis and Marisol had a connection and what’s more, he was a history professor. Through Luis, Marisol was able to learn about the now Cuba, not just the romantic version that Marisol had dreamed of. As she spent more time with Luis and his family Marisol began to understand what it meant to be a Cuban living in Cuba. Even though she had prepared herself for the possibility of there being a different experience than she was expecting, there was no preparing herself for the political environment and what it truly meant to be Cuban.
The narration throughout this story was just lovely. The story started out with Elisa’s story from their last day in Cuba and then it transitions between her and Marisol as they both “relive” her memories of her time in Cuba. As Marisol uncovers more of her grandmother’s past, she begins to question how well she knew her grandmother but at the same time she truly appreciated the resilience of her grandmother. Such a good story! My only complaint would be that the love interest in this story was way too fast and that was off putting. Although, reliving the romance in her grandmother’s past more than made up for it. Next Year in Havana is a wonderful read that made me consider how much I take for granted in my own life and how would I feel if I had to leave my country behind. Such a great read!
*Thank you to Netgalley & Berkley Publishing Group for this eARC of Next Year in Havana*
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Enter to Win! This giveaway ends on February 11, 2018.
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