Review: Next Year in Havana

Next Year in Havana





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.

Rating: 4.5-stars


Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton is an inspirational historical tale. One that carries the heartache of the Cuban people. Fidel Castro has ruined the once beautiful place known as Cuba. People live in destruction, poverty, and still have no freedom. Risks are taken as a present day woman returns to her family home.

Her intent is to scatter her grandmother’s ashes to a place that made her happy once before. But selecting a place for the ashes proves harder than originally thought. Marisol finds herself fearing what could happen to her as she just enters the home country and as she leaves with a man. This story had me sobbing for the family and lives of the Cuban people. What they once knew and had, was now broken and shattered forever.

Lost is the home they grew up in…none of them wants to return to a broken place that destroyed their hearts. Love, grief, and loss are felt on every page. The determination of the family especially, the women was appealing. I felt their courage in leaving their homeland to enter a strange one. The desire and want to return to Cuba is felt in their veins. But due to circumstances, none of them are safe to return back home. Instead, they wait. Maybe, just maybe, one day…Cuba will call them home again. Overall, this book was slow to read, but its emotional and historical appeal won me over. I felt the urge to read on to discover the lives the characters lived and will live. I recommend this novel to all readers.


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