Next Year in Havana

Next Year in Havana

eBook - 2018
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THE JULY PICK FOR REESE WITHERSPOON'S HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB"A beautiful novel that's full of forbidden passions, family secrets and a lot of courage and sacrifice."-Reese WitherspoonAfter 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.
Publisher: 2018
ISBN: 9780399586699
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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Dec 11, 2020

"Next Year in Havana" provides a totally one-sided view of the 1959 Cuban revolution, from the point of view of the ultra-wealthy who exploited the Cuban people and then chose to leave when it became apparent that their hold on the economy was lost. There is no mention of the hardships the Cuban people suffered under the rule of the wealthy pre-Castro; only lamentations about the aftermath of the Revolution, and no focus on the devastating effects of the US embargo or the positive accomplishments under Castro, including education and health care. Life in the US is extolled but no mention is made of the severe inequality that we suffer here as well -- not everyone has the freedom to be all that they can be -- many Americans lack a decent education, housing, health care. This book is an anti-Castro fantasy by the child of Cuban exiles and should not be read as anything else.

Jul 08, 2020

This book was amazing! I could not put it down, which is usually a good thing. But I stayed up all night reading; I couldn’t pace myself and just had to finish.

Apr 08, 2020

This book was SO GOOD. I had a greater appreciation for it since I studied abroad in Cuba a few years ago and learned a lot about the Cuban Revolution and both side of the revolution. I can see where if someone wasn't familiar with the history some parts would be rather dull but the characters really brought things to life. I visited several of the places mentioned in the book (stayed at a casa particular in the Vedado neighborhood, walked along the Malecon and did a weekend trip to Varadero) which made me connect with the book even more.

Jan 17, 2020

Great historical fiction...makes me want to read more from this author.

Jan 12, 2020

I read this book BECAUSE of the historical context, and Cuban politics and chaos wasn’t that long ago. I remember interviewing a person for a job not too long ago, and he told me he was banned from traveling back to Cuba, but was still sending his 90-year-old mother $$ and needed to continue working. I thought ~ really? How crazy to be exiled from a country!! This was my first inside look at Cuba, and some of the revolutionaries and quests for change. I was looking things up on Cuba while I read it because it was interesting to me. Loved the plot and the personal growth of the main character...and what it means to be Cuban.

Jan 06, 2020

I was very excited to read this book, but was disappointed with it. It really wasn't my favorite. I enjoyed the story line of the characters, but half the book was about historical Cuban politics - not really my favorite subject. There were several pages where the characters would rant about the same thing over and over, which I found annoying and usually skipped. After the 3rd time of describing the political and economic hardships in Cuba, I get it. You don't know need to repeat yourself in every chapter. But anyway, I enjoyed the story line when it showed up between all the other long-winded and dramatic writing.

Oct 13, 2019

Not only was this a satisfying love story of a woman who returns to Cuba to spread the ashes of her Cuban grandmother who fled Castro in the 1950’s but it the love story of her grandmother. Lots of history of the Cuban Revolution and what life is like in Cuba today is interspersed in the novel.

Oct 06, 2019

Freedom is fragile. It can be stolen in a moment.

Cleeton's somewhat soap-operatic approach to serious topics grabbed me by surprise. Just as I decided it was simply a bunch of fluff, I was caught up in the emotion of the story. It struck a bell. The situation that the Cuban people found themselves in should sound a warning to folks in the US under Trump - and possibly even in the UK under Boris. Or Canada - under Ford?

“There are thousands of ways to betray your country - broken promises, failed policies, the sound of a firing squad pumping bullets into flesh. And then there’s the silent betrayal - the most insidious one of all. We thought we were being smart by merely enduring Batista. We thought we were playing the long game, cozying up to power so we could keep our grand homes, and our yacht club membership, and our champagne filled parties. We thought the indignities of his regime couldn’t touch us.

And the whole time we were pretending our way of life was fine, the paradise we created was really a fragile deal with the devil. When the ground beneath us cracked, it destroyed the world as we knew it.”

Stand on guard or lose your long and hard-fought-for freedoms.

Aug 31, 2019

LOVED this book! So much raw emotion and of course and epic love story. I teared up on numerous occasions throughout the book.

JCLPiepieB Jul 08, 2019

Beautiful and bittersweet, this is a book to savor. Highly recommended. I can't wait to read Beatriz's story!

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Feb 18, 2021

In 1917, Marisol goes to Cuba from Miami to bury her grandmother's ashes. M. discovers the family history of fleeing Cuba during the 1958 revolution, and becomes involved with a revolutionary man, working against Castro.

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