Introducing my May book club pick… Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. This incredibly beautiful novel takes the reader between 1950s Cuba and modern day Cuba, providing both a rich history lesson about the nation and a page-turner story.
If you aren’t familiar with my new book club, check out the introduction here to learn more and find out what my first picks were.
Synopsis: “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.”
This book was an amazing read! The juxtaposition of conditions in 1958 Cuba with present day Cuba might have been my favourite part. Chanel Cleeton did her research well and perfectly captured the romance and myth of old and new Cuba. There’s so much emotion conveyed in these characters that it was hard not to get sucked into their daily lives, even when you know what’s coming for Cuba. Passionate, riveting, dramatic, heartbreaking and romantic. Chanel Cleeton took a dark bit of history and brought it to light with these characters. I know that anyone who reads it will look at Cuba with new eyes and respect, and that is the ultimate goal of this book club!
Get your copy here.
I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this already or if you go pick it up now, leave a comment below 🙂
Additionally, book number 2 was released just last month. So if you’re hooked on this story, which you inevitably will be, you won’t have to wait to get your hands on the follow up, When We Left Cuba.
Synopsis: “The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez–her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.
As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future–but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything–not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart…”
I have to go pick this one up next! Get your copy here.
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