I am so excited to be a part of the review tour for Next Year in Havana, by Chanel Cleeton! I meant to post this earlier in the day, but the day got a little away from me. This book is so beautiful, and I feel privileged to have received an early copy to read and review! Don’t forget to check out the giveaway at the end of the post!
In Next Year in Havana, readers get two parallel storylines – one in 1958, when revolutionaries drive Batista from Cuba and Castro takes over, where Elisa Perez, daughter of a sugar baron, embarks on a dangerous, passionate affair; and one in 2017, when the travel embargo is loosened, and Marisol Ferrera seeks to return her grandmother Elisa’s ashes to the place of her birth. Both women tell stories of finding themselves, of love, and of the beauty and mystery of the island nation that will always call them home.
*Full disclosure: I haven’t quite finished yet! But I’m trusting that the things I love are going to remain lovable to the very end of the book (and I can always edit my review if things change!).
3 Things I Loved
- Havana. Needless to say, I’ve never been to Cuba, but I’d love to go. And this book made me want to make that trip even more than I already did! Maybe someday…
- Marisol. I really connected with Marisol. I could relate to feeling connected to a culture, and yet being removed enough from it that it’s not considered yours. Experiencing her visit to Havana was like looking through a window into my own soul.
- The mysterious men. I love my book heroes grumpy, as you know. Neither Pablo nor Luis are particularly grumpy, but they are dark and mysterious, and that is a close second for me.
Everyone is straight! But other than that, this is a beautiful, diverse book that lovers of women’s fiction will devour.
Also, it’s a bit lengthy. Not in a bad way, but in an “I don’t have enough hours in the day to read this book even though I’m loving it” way.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
While I’m loving the book so far, I’m going to hold off on rating it until I finish it. Check back in the next couple of days for this section to be updated! (And thanks for your patience!)
About the Author
Originally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.
Hey hey! It’s a Rafflecopter giveaway!
Thank you to the author for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Though the final rating is still pending, I’m LOVING this book and will gladly rave about it online once I’m done (although the fact that I got an advanced copy had no bearing on my enjoyment of the book).
Pick this one up, y’all!