Title: Next Year in Havana
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Publisher: Berkley 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Popsugar - About a Family; Women Authors; Historical Fiction
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.
Super mixed feelings about this book. The good: I really loved the characters in this book. Elisa and Marisol are great main characters. I loved spending time with Elisa’s sisters and best friend. I loved learning more about these women’s lives. Cuba becomes another character in this novel. I loved visiting and revisiting specific places throughout time. So good! The bad: I felt like a lot of these book was a guise for a lecture on the history of Cuba, the revolution, and the ramifications 60 years later. I’m not usually bothered by a book that incorporates a bit of teaching into the storyline. But this book seemed to be more like 40% lecture. It really annoyed me that Marisol seemed to know nothing about Cuba and it’s people when her family is Cuban and supposedly told her so many stories. How is she a journalist and yet has seemed to do no research pre-trip? I just started skimming the sections that seemed more history lesson than story. Part of my annoyance may be because I know a fair amount about the Cuban revolution and the country’s status now. But still, I just couldn’t really lose myself in the story because of the lectures.
Next up on the TBR pile: