Next Year in Havana

Next Year in Havana

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--...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Next Year in Havana
Author:Chanel Cleeton
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Next Year in Havana Reviews

  • Cindy Burnett

    Every once in a while I start a book and from page one I am completely enamored with the every aspect of the book - the plot, the characters, the setting, and the relationships. Next Year in Havana is this type of book; as I read, I was constantly ruminating about how fabulous the book was. I love that feeling, and to me, it is the sign of an exceptionally good book.

    Next Year in Havana is told in a dual timeline format, alternating between the late 1950’s and present day. Both story lines are e

    Every once in a while I start a book and from page one I am completely enamored with the every aspect of the book - the plot, the characters, the setting, and the relationships. Next Year in Havana is this type of book; as I read, I was constantly ruminating about how fabulous the book was. I love that feeling, and to me, it is the sign of an exceptionally good book.

    Next Year in Havana is told in a dual timeline format, alternating between the late 1950’s and present day. Both story lines are equally compelling, and Chanel Cleeton artfully incorporates both the beauty and history of Cuba into her tale about courage in the face of family and loss. Cleeton’s family fled Cuba in 1967, and the personal connection and love she feels for the country are reflected in her tale. Cuba is a fascinating place to me, and stories set there always appeal to me. Next Year in Havana stands out because the author effectively integrates a significant amount of Cuban history while crafting a beautiful tale of family, love, and enduring relationships. I had never really understood the schism between those who left Cuba after Fidel Castro came into power versus those that remained. Without taking sides, Cleeton engenders sympathy for both groups and the difficult choices that those individuals had to make when choosing which path to take.

    I was curious about the title of the book when I began reading and thankfully she explains it: “As exiles, … hope is embedded in the very essence of our soul. ‘Next Year in Havana. It’s the toast we never stop saying, because the dream of it never comes true.’ ” What a beautiful tribute to Cuba that decades later those exiled still hope year after year that they can one day return, and how incredibly sad that it has still not come to pass.

    Sadly, I think it is easy for Americans to forget how lucky we are to live in a country where freedom is taken for granted. Reading about present day Cuba is scary: internet and cell phone coverage is scarce, the government controls what information is disseminated, food shortages are common, and retribution for speaking out can be punishable by death. The reminder is helpful in our current political environment; freedom and equality are worth protecting, and it is important to speak out against those attempting to infringe on those rights.

    Next Year in Havana is spectacular. I loved the entire book and was thrilled with the small surprise at the end. I had an inkling that the surprise might be coming and was glad when it worked out that way. I struggled a bit with the resolution of the present day story line but am not sure that there was any other way for it to end; it certainly did not impact my view of the book. The cover of Next Year in Havana deserves to be mentioned also; it is simply stunning and fits the book beautifully. Thanks to Berkley Publishing and BookBrowse for the chance to read this ARC. All opinions are my own.

  • Rachel Reads Ravenously

    I made a resolution to myself last year that I would make more of an effort to read new to me authors when selecting future books. Chanel Cleeton is a new to me author, and when I saw the cover and title of this book I knew I needed to get my hands on it. And man oh man am I so glad I did because I loved this story.

    Next Year in Havana is told in present day by Marisol, a young woman grieving her recently deceased grandmother,

    I made a resolution to myself last year that I would make more of an effort to read new to me authors when selecting future books. Chanel Cleeton is a new to me author, and when I saw the cover and title of this book I knew I needed to get my hands on it. And man oh man am I so glad I did because I loved this story.

    Next Year in Havana is told in present day by Marisol, a young woman grieving her recently deceased grandmother, Elisa, and goes to Cuba to spread her ashes. We also get Elisa’s story in 1958 Cuba, a story of love and a divided country.

    That’s all I’m going to say about the plot, but know both stories present and past are beautiful and will surprise you.

    Cuba has always been a subject of interest for me, but not one strong enough for me to do some heavy research. Reading this book I felt I learned a lot about the country and its history, its present day happenings as well. At times the characters I felt got a little bit too political and by that I mean I did skim some political stuffs because it was feeling repetitive and preachy, but I honestly didn’t mind it that much because I’m giving it 4.5 stars.

    Normally when a book is told from two point of views I find I like one more than the other, but that really wasn’t the case in this book. I loved Marisol and Elisa’s stories equally, wanting to know more about both and never wanting to skip a POV. Both women are caught in impossible situations because of issues beyond their control. They feel powerless, and yet do everything they can for the people they love.

    Reading this book I felt as if I was transported to Cuba. I’ve never been but felt I have based on the descriptive nature of this book. Cleeton is excellent at bringing her readers into her story and I honestly can say I am dying for her to write more books like this one.

    I know I will remember this book for years to come.

    Follow me on ♥

  • Patty Belongs To Kellan~Jesse~Lautner~Miller~Jack~Racer~Rafe~Liam~Prince Nicholas~Hayes~Simon~Gianluca & Archer

    {ARC Generously Provided by Author}

    is beautifully written and at times excessive in the detailed description of the surroundings and landscape of Cuba and its inhabitants. It did enable

    {ARC Generously Provided by Author}

    is beautifully written and at times excessive in the detailed description of the surroundings and landscape of Cuba and its inhabitants. It did enable me to picture a Country I will never get to see in my lifetime and in that aspect, I did appreciate the descriptive narrative. This read more like a history book than a romance. While there are two sets of couples, they seemed to play a secondary role to that of the main characters which were Cuba and its history of unrest and rebellion.

    The story switches from past to present. The past being 1958-59 Havana, where Elisa Perez lives with her parents and sisters. In the present, Elisa’s granddaughter, Marisol Ferrera, is on a journey from Miami to Cuba where she has been assigned the task to spread her grandmother’s ashes. Although having been exiled from Cuba for nearly sixty years, Elisa always yearned for a chance to someday return to the Country she called

    . When she was nineteen she fled Cuba with her family after Fidel Castro came into power. Her family was one of the wealthiest and powerful in Havana and a prime target for Castro.

    Marisol was very close to her grandmother and her death affected Marisol deeply. She knows that it still isn’t safe for her to be going to Cuba but is determined to fulfill her grandmother’s dying wish. She’s also excited to be going to the place that her grandmother spent so many nights telling stories about. Marisol embraces her heritage. When she meets Ana Rodriguez, Elisa’s childhood best friend, Marisol is given a box that Elisa left behind. What she discovers inside is a secret that Elisa took with her to her grave and Marisol questions whether she ever truly knew her grandmother. Marisol sets off on a mission to uncover her grandmother’s secret past and along the way finds her own romance with Luis, a history professor at the University of Cuba and also Ana’s grandson.

    During flashbacks, we learn how Elisa meets her one true love and how a happily ever after for them is nearly impossible. When we are back in the present we see that history is repeating itself with Marisol and Luis.

    Will Marisol have the HEA that her grandmother was unable to attain?

    Here are my overall ratings on the book:

    releases tomorrow.

    Book Links:

    Amazon:

    Barnes & Noble:

    iBooks:

    IndieBound:

    Kobo:

  • Bkwmlee

    4.5 stars

    I was enamored with this book from the very first page and found it very difficult to put down after I started reading it! I will admit that I was reluctant to read this one at first, as I don’t typically read romance novels and being that most of this author’s previous works were contemporary romances, I was worried that this would be along the same lines -- however I decided to give this one a try, as I was drawn in by the historical aspect and also curiosity with the setting being in

    4.5 stars

    I was enamored with this book from the very first page and found it very difficult to put down after I started reading it! I will admit that I was reluctant to read this one at first, as I don’t typically read romance novels and being that most of this author’s previous works were contemporary romances, I was worried that this would be along the same lines -- however I decided to give this one a try, as I was drawn in by the historical aspect and also curiosity with the setting being in Cuba. It turns out I was right to give this one a chance, as the romance aspect actually took a backseat to the history and also family dynamics, turning this into a wonderfully written work of historical fiction rather than a run-of-the-mill romance trope.

    Alternating between two timelines, the story is narrated first by Elisa Perez in the late 1950s, as Cuba is in the midst of a revolution led by Fidel Castro against president Batista, and then later by Elisa’s granddaughter Marisol Ferrara, nearly 60 years later, as she travels to Cuba for the first time to fulfill her grandmother’s dying wish for her ashes to be scattered in the country that always had a special place in her heart. As we accompany Marisol on a journey that is as much about discovering her roots, her heritage, as it is about coming to terms with the death of the beloved grandmother who raised her, we are given insight into the history of Cuba – more specifically Havana – and what life is like for its people both in modern day as well as back during the revolutionary period, in Elisa’s time. The juxtaposition of the two versions of Cuba – Marisol’s romanticized version passed on to her from family stories and memories versus the ‘real’ version of the Cuban people’s perpetual struggle and sacrifice – provided an eye-opening look at a country that embodied both beauty and hope as well as devastation and suffering. The disparity was so jarring at times that it really made me think about how grateful I am to live in a country that values freedom and at the same time, how so many things are taken for granted. I was absolutely humbled by passages such as this one, which was both a powerful and timely reminder of how lucky we are living in the times and parts of the world that we do:

    This was just one of many thought-provoking passages in this book — so many in fact that I found myself highlighting quite a bit and also stopping to reflect on some of the issues that were brought up.

    In terms of the writing, I am blown away by how well-written this book was – the skill with which the author was able to weave all the historical details into the narrative yet still present such a compelling, heartfelt story with wonderfully layered characters was, to me, beyond impressive. The writing was descriptive and beautiful, but most importantly, it was incredibly atmospheric, which I feel is one of the things that sets this book apart from some of the other works of historical fiction I’ve read recently. The author Chanel Cleeton did a wonderful job of establishing a strong sense of place and time, so much so that I felt like I was transported to Havana myself and was truly able to get a feel for the city and Cuba as a whole, its inhabitants and their way of life. There were so many topics that the book touched on – social injustice, economic inequality and instability, political strife, love, family, sacrifice, etc. – but the parts that drew me in the most were the details about Cuba’s history and culture, especially the emotions and conflict surrounding what it meant to be Cuban for those who fled the country and live in exile yet were still forever connected to their heritage versus those who stayed behind, whether willingly or unwillingly, and what they had to endure as a result. As mentioned in the book, much of Cuban history is political and so inevitably there were a lot of passages about politics throughout the story, yet not once did I feel that this book was trying to push a particular political message or viewpoint. To me, this is a testament to the author’s skill as a writer, as she was able to incorporate the politics piece in a way that impartially presented both sides, allowing us as the readers to determine for ourselves which (if any) side we related more to. I also appreciated the fact that the author, who herself is Cuban-American, wove in elements of her own family history and experiences fleeing from Cuba after the revolution, as her passion for her heritage and her country’s history truly did shine through.

    Overall, I definitely enjoyed this one and learned a lot from it. Highly recommended for historical fiction fans, especially those interested in learning more about Cuba.

  • Diane S ☔

    3.5 There are so many fantastic elements to this novel. The book opens with the Perez family fleeing Cuba after the revolution. This is the first thread of the story. The second is Elise Perez's granddaughter Marisol, traveling to Cuba, sixty years later to scatter her ashes in the country she had loved.

    The history of Cuba, Batista, Che and Castro are told in bold, detailed fashion using the Perez family to add a human element and interest to the story. This story would be my favorite part of t

    3.5 There are so many fantastic elements to this novel. The book opens with the Perez family fleeing Cuba after the revolution. This is the first thread of the story. The second is Elise Perez's granddaughter Marisol, traveling to Cuba, sixty years later to scatter her ashes in the country she had loved.

    The history of Cuba, Batista, Che and Castro are told in bold, detailed fashion using the Perez family to add a human element and interest to the story. This story would be my favorite part of the book, a look back at what happened to the Perez family, and a revolution that promised much be delivered little. Said to have ended Batista's cruelty, in effect, in one quote by the author, it just replaced one dictator with another.

    Marisol would find love in Havana but also many other things she didn't know she was looking for. Again the descriptions of Havana we're done well, but that in one week two people would fall in love, was a bit unbelievable. I enjoyed the characters, the different looks at the people who fled Cuba, and those who stayed. There are a few surprises along the way, in this very readable book. Things may be more open in Cuba but as the book shows the danger for some is far from over.

    Very well written, the history, thankfully for me but maybe all readers will not feel the same, overshadowed the love story. The ending poignant, heartfelt but a little to pat. All in all z good read about a country of which I am still learning.

    ARC from Netgalley.

  • Angela M

    I always enjoy knowing an author’s inspiration for a story. In the acknowledgments, which introduce the book, Chanel Cleeeton call this “the book of my heart” and thanks her family for sharing their stories. It wasn’t until I heard her in an interview relating a story that her father told her about how people would put their valuables in boxes and bury the box before they left Cuba, that I knew the specific thing. This seemed to reflect a hope that they would someday return. A box buried by a yo

    I always enjoy knowing an author’s inspiration for a story. In the acknowledgments, which introduce the book, Chanel Cleeeton call this “the book of my heart” and thanks her family for sharing their stories. It wasn’t until I heard her in an interview relating a story that her father told her about how people would put their valuables in boxes and bury the box before they left Cuba, that I knew the specific thing. This seemed to reflect a hope that they would someday return. A box buried by a young girl as she and her family flee Cuba in 1958 is a meaningful part of this novel. I loved knowing that this was the spark that started this story and that she is connected to the narrative because her family did indeed flee Cuba after the revolution.

    In Havana, in the late 1950s we meet Elisa from an affluent family, sugar barons as they are leaving Cuba. This narrative alternates with her granddaughter Marisol’s in 2017 as she goes to Cuba to spread her grandmother’s ashes. The past story is a love story where the political history of Cuba in the late 1950s is played out. I have to admit how little I really knew about this complicated history from the not too distant past. That made it all the more interesting to me.

    On one level you could read this as a love story and then there is another love story in the present day (which is not as believable as the earlier one ) or you could see the history and the politics, the Cuba of the past and present through these relationships. A story of family ties, love, and friendship woven into the politics and history of pre-revolutionary Cuba connecting it to the present day. Loyalty, love of country , the dangerous business of beliefs contrary to those in power told with the natural beauty of the island as the backdrop and the ambiance of Havana. I felt confident of the details of the politics given that the author has academic degrees in international politics. I thoroughly enjoyed this even with an ending that was a little too pat. It was well written and appealed to me from the beginning to the end.

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Berkeley through NetGalley.

  • Jennifer Kyle

    4.5 Stars!!

    A very good read.

  • Lori

    I have mixed feelings on this one. I loved parts & I disliked others. I loved Elise’s story... the struggles she faced in a changing Cuba were heartbreaking. I had a vague knowledge of Cuba’s tumultuous past & present, so I really found that part very interesting. At the same time, I enjoyed learning more about Cuba’s struggles it felt over done in Marisol’s story. The sentiments became very repetitive which made me lose interest & start skimming. Marisol & Luis’s relationship wa

    I have mixed feelings on this one. I loved parts & I disliked others. I loved Elise’s story... the struggles she faced in a changing Cuba were heartbreaking. I had a vague knowledge of Cuba’s tumultuous past & present, so I really found that part very interesting. At the same time, I enjoyed learning more about Cuba’s struggles it felt over done in Marisol’s story. The sentiments became very repetitive which made me lose interest & start skimming. Marisol & Luis’s relationship was another aspect I didn’t like. It seemed forced and tried too hard to mirror Elise’s story. All-in-all not a bad story overall. I look forward to reading more novels about Cuba. ‘To be Cuban is to be proud—it is both our greatest gift and our biggest curse. We are silk and lace, and beneath them we are steel.’ 3.5 stars.

  • Astrid - ☆Vanilla & Spice Books☆

    Boy, 2018 has been epic so far...

    My heart is full. Full with love for the characters of this book. With shame about my ignorance of the danger and problems Cuban people still face on a daily basis. Admiration for their bravery and pride. Affection for their good hearts. Sadness for their heartbreak. I struggle to get a grip on my emotions as I sit here and write my review.

    Marisol's exiled grandmother

    Boy, 2018 has been epic so far...

    My heart is full. Full with love for the characters of this book. With shame about my ignorance of the danger and problems Cuban people still face on a daily basis. Admiration for their bravery and pride. Affection for their good hearts. Sadness for their heartbreak. I struggle to get a grip on my emotions as I sit here and write my review.

    Marisol's exiled grandmother's last wish was for her remains to return to the home of her heart, Cuba, one of the priceless gems in the Caribbean Sea. Marisol only knows her country from stories her grandmother Elisa told her, who raised her and who she was closest to. Arriving in Cuba she traces back Elisa's life. At her side is Elisa's best friend Ana's grandson Luis. Together they uncover secrets only a few people apart from Elisa knew about.

    Two timelines follow alternating Elisa and Pablo as well as Marisol and Luis. There are parallels between Elisa's love for Pablo and Marisol's for Luis. Both of them love highly educated men, who have a deep love for their country. Patriotism isn't just a word for them, they live it, breathe it...die for it. And both of these men possess a quiet strength, an earnestness and intensity that draws both Elisa and Marisol in.

    It isn't surprising that Marisol and Elisa fall in love with men who have so similar character traits. Marisol and Elisa share the same kindness, brave heart, curiosity and love for their country. When Elisa's secrets start to surface it throws Marisol a little bit for a loop. Doubts about her knowledge of the woman who raised her arise, make her question if she knew her grandmother at all. Slowly she also realizes how romanticized her image of Cuba is.

    Luis and Marisol's instant attraction becomes complicated fast, their connection turns quickly into deep feelings. But how can they be together when neither of them fits into the world of the other? This stalemate situation makes you understand, however, that as divergent Luis and Marisol are, they also have a lot in common. It's exactly the same situation Marisol's grandmother and Pablo found themselves in, when they fell in love.

    As we follow Marisol and Elisa we learn about the Cuba pre-revolution and the Cuba of today. Chanel Cleeton draws the country in brilliant and rich colors and makes you want to get on a plane and visit, to see it with your own eyes. I adored all the main characters and Luis' grandmother Ana. There is a warmth, a gentleness to all of them despite the harshness they experience.

    Cuba is the fifth star in this story and she is as beautiful as she is terrifying. The author weaves her immense and profound knowledge of the country into the story and fascinates us with historical details. I suspect she also poured a lot of herself into Marisol and Elisa.

    This story is powerful and extraordinary. It's a history class with a handsome professor who has the ability to captivate and enchant you with spellbinding, informative and lovely narration about the people, politics and history of a beautiful country. Yes, there is a lot of historical details in the beginning and while this makes for a slower reading in the first 30 to 40% it is absolutely essential to understand the bigger picture. I loved learning about the Cuban revolution from somebody with such intimate knowledge about it.

    But do not fear, the story picks up at around 40% and then it reaches that level of unputdownable that I experience with all Chanel Cleeton books. I love all her stories but this time she has outdone herself.

     

    Heads up - this is not romance. I think it qualifies more as fiction with romantic elements. But don't let that keep you from reading it, it packs a good amount of romance and love.

    This is the book I never knew was missing from my life. It has made me richer and given me an insight into the dangers Cuban people are still dealing with. I can't stress how important this story is, how fascinating, emotional, wonderful and educating. I have a new understanding of the history and I hope one day Cuban people will be free and rid of the regime so that their inherent exuberance and vibrancy can shine again with full power.

     

     

    Next year in Havana. Ojalá.

Best Free Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2018 Best Free Books - All rights reserved.