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.
Synopsis source: Goodreads
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Growing up, I remember hearing about the Cuban missile crisis, but none of my history classes ever touched on Cuban History. Like Viet Nam, it feels like another instance of America stirring the pot, getting burned, and denying it happened. This book did so much to illuminate that history for me.
Some reviewers have mentioned the mediocrity of the writing style and insufficient setting description, but I didn’t have any issues with either of those things. I thought this was an easy entry into a difficult topic about a horrible part of history and a wake up call about present issues plaguing the country and how much hasn’t really changed.
Many times with dual timelines like this, I am drawn to one more than the other, but I enjoyed both timelines in this story equally. I liked that they paralleled each other, which provided a type of symmetry to the book, though you could also argue that it made it somewhat predictable.
Aside from the historical references, the book touches on what it means to be Cuban and the struggle exiled Cubans face when confronting those who never left. I felt like this was very well done and I felt Marisol’s inner turmoil with this, and I liked how she calls out those who would judge her, asking them what they would have her do at the end. It was a good reminder to us all not to judge one another too harshly because we are doing the best with what we are given.
Full of insight and Cuban flare, this was a lovely story and I look forward to reading the other books in the series.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below, or better yet, join in with us on August 30th, as we discuss it live!
Join the Discussion!
Join us on Tuesday, August 30th at 7pm CST on Instagram Stories Live to chat with and get to know this month’s co-host, work on a project, sip some bevies, and talk all about Next Year in Havana. Allow me to introduce my co-host for the evening, Leyla of Leylalicious!
Leylalicious – Leyla
Leyla is the Maker and Creator behind Leylalicious. She’s a Modern Knitter, Crocheter and Pattern Maker. She was born in Lima, Peru and currently resides in sunny SoCal with her 2 boys and hubby or as she likes to say her 3 boys. The name Leylalicious originally came from when she was making sweet treats and jewelry. She loved dipping madeline cookies, Oreos and pretzels just to name a few along with making handmade jewelry. She still makes them for the Holidays, but has focused lately on knitting and crocheting and designing patterns.
Update: View the replay of our book club discussion below!
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