Review: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Rating: 5.0/5.0 stars

Main Takeaway: A heartwarming story of love and war that you won’t want to put down. Must Read!

After the death of her grandmother, Elisa, Marisol travels to Cuba, which has recently open to travel since the death of Fidel Castro, to spread Elisa’s ashes in the country she was forced to flee sixty years prior. On her trip to Havana, Marisol discovers a past she never knew her grandmother had, and as she tries to reconcile the woman she knew with the one she’s discovered, Marisol realizes she and her grandmother were not so different from one another.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know a lot about Cuba or it’s history before reading Next Year in Havana. But this book taught me so much in just 355 pages about Cuba, the revolution, and how Cubans perceive not only themselves, but also each other and the rest of the world. In the past, I’ve generally stuck to World War II historical fiction, but this book has introduced me to a whole new world I didn’t know about, filled with love and pain and passion and beauty. I found myself fearing for Pablo’s life along with Elisa up in Miramar and crying with Marisol on the Malecon, trying to imagine the pain of loss in Elisa’s heart and fearing for Luis’ safety and happiness. Next Year in Havana is a must read for historical fiction fans and romance fans alike. It’s exciting, fast-paced, and the perfect summer read (just don’t forget the rum)!

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