BOOK REVIEW: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Title: Next Year in Havana
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Publication: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 394

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

After 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.


My sister recently read this book and absolutely loved it.  She told me that I needed to read it, it was that good. Now I am always looking for new books and authors to read.  I read the back of the book and knew that it was something that was up my alley.  It had everything, historical fiction, romance, and mystery.  I started the book that day and finished it roughly three days later.  

Marisol is visiting Cuba for the first time. While she is excited about visiting the land that she has heard so much about in the stories her grandmother told her.  She is sad. She is here to spread her grandmothers’ ashes in her homeland.  One that she hasn’t seen since she fled when she was 19.  She uncovers family secrets that change how she sees her family.  This book was really really good.  It’s broken into two stories. Marisol’s and Elisa’s.  We get Marisol’s story of finding the perfect place to spread her grandmother’s ashes and uncovering her family stories.  Elisa’s story is about her life in Cuba when she was a young woman.  Her escape from Fidel’s regime and her life after she left.  

This book was so sweeping.  The descriptions of Cuba’s past and present were something that I could see in my mind’s eye.  They were absolutely gorgeous.  The suffering that the Cuba people suffered under the regime of Batista and Fidel was atrocious.  I found myself crying as the story was closing and all the loose ends were being tied up in a bow.  You could tell that the author researched Cuban history and the rise and fall of their government before writing this book.  It was well written and succinct.   This book is definitely making it in my top 10 books this year.  I want to read more books by this author.  I see that she has a second book that follows another one of the sisters from this book.  I should add it to my wish list to read.  


Pick up your copy of Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more of Chanel Cleeton’s work on her website HERE.

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