I recently finished Chanel Cleeton’s two historical fiction books chronicling the revolutionary timeframe in Cuba when Batista was exiled and Castro rose to power. I was transported to Havana, in these beautifully crafted stories, and was completely engaged with the characters and their stories of home, hope and family with a dash of mystery. Both were easy to read and books I was sad to see end.
Next Year in Havana
Next Year in Havana is the first book in the duo. I devoured it, knowing that I still had the second one waiting. It was the kind of book that had me looking up historical figures, times and places to fill in my own limited knowledge of this time in Cuba.
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.
When We Left Cuba
When We Left Cuba is told by the perspective of the most fiery sister of the four Perez girls. Like the first book, I really enjoyed the read. I think Havana slightly edged out Cuba for me.
The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez—her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost. As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future—but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything—not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart…
I would absolutely love to see these books made into movies! And, I’d love more in the series – perhaps told from the Mother’s point of view as she was my most unliked character and one I just couldn’t really understand.
What’s on your bed side?
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED