Review: The Last Train to Key West

The Last Train to Key West


In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s captivating new novel.

Everyone journeys to Key West searching for something. For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler’s legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person’s paradise can be another’s prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape.

The Cuban Revolution of 1933 left Mirta Perez’s family in a precarious position. After an arranged wedding in Havana, Mirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. While she can’t deny the growing attraction to the stranger she’s married, her new husband’s illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship, but her life.

Elizabeth Preston’s trip from New York to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles as a result of the Wall Street crash. Her quest takes her to the camps occupied by veterans of the Great War and pairs her with an unlikely ally on a treacherous hunt of his own.

Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women’s paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys. 

Rating: 4-stars


The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton is a heartbreaking novel. This novel went back and forth showing the difficult lives of two women. Both women were in bad situations trying to help their families and themselves only to fall in worse situations. It was an intense read. The more I read, the deadlier the situation looked for both women. Each lady character, were tough, scared, and desperate for a better life. Their options were few. But someone around them helped push them to see the light in their dark tunnels. For the older woman, it was a stranger who came to her diner. He came only to see her. He saw her pain and bruises and knew what she was hiding. He never gave up and was a gentleman. He was her hope for survival. For the younger woman, it was a stranger on the train. This stranger turns out to be an FBI man. Together each couple has their own fears and fights. But their stories were beautifully woven and tied together. I was impressed. This is a novel that shook me to the core and made me want the best for the characters and their heroes.

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