Monday, July 19, 2021

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

genre: historical fiction

This dual-timeline novel moves between Elisa’s life in 1958 as the daughter of a sugar baron in Havana, Cuba and her granddaughter Marisol in Miami in 2017. While Marisol is only now, as an adult, taking her first trip to Cuba, her heart has been tied to its shores for as long as she could remember. What Marisol is going to learn about her grandmother and the country she left behind, what she will learn about herself - all of this is set against the backdrop of Cuba’s history and flavor. It is revolution and the conundrum of exile, it is loving things we cannot have and mourning for what we’ve lost.

I found this really engaging, it dropped me right into Cuba and made me so curious, again, about this island country so close to my own. It’s a bit repetitious and maybe a tiny bit predictable but it took my mind to another place and kept me wanting to read until the end. A great summer read.

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