Thursday, February 8, 2018

Review: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Next Year in Havana
by Chanel Cleeton

Publisher: Berkley NAL
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  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.

Kritters Thoughts:  Cuba is on the short list of places I want to visit and after reading this book, it completely remains there.  A country that almost had the pause button pushed on innovation and infrastructure and has survived through many a men with differing opinions on how to move the country forward.  I have never read a book set in Cuba and after reading this one, I am going to seek out more!

A dual narrative with one taking place in our current day of 2017 and the other 60 years ago when Fidel was coming to power and the people of Cuba were wondering if this change of power would be a good move.  I loved the reason that Marisol goes to Cuba, but I wish her grandmother had left her more than a box of letters.  I didn't love that I was reading the full story of Eliza while Marisol was getting a very edited version, I had to remind myself that Marisol didn't know everything I did, wish we were discovering things together.  

All in all, I completely adored this book.  I would love to read more fiction that takes place in Cuba to learn more about this country both in the time frames presented here and more.  Have you read any really good fiction set in Cuba?  What is a country that you would love to dive into a fiction story of?

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2018 Challenge: 15 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley NAL.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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