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--...

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

Next Year in Havana Reviews

  • Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤

    LIVE AMAZON

    4,5-5 Beautiful stars

    "At the end of the day the only thing you have left is what you stand for."

    I'm speechless, such a beautiful and powerful story!I have no words, I'm still processing what I just read!I have read and loved almost all Chanel's books but nothing is like that!This was amazing!Next Year in Havana is an emotional,intense, heartbreaking and heartwarming story!

    Next Year in Havana follows two different timelines. The first timeline tells the story o

    LIVE AMAZON

    4,5-5 Beautiful stars

    "At the end of the day the only thing you have left is what you stand for."

    I'm speechless, such a beautiful and powerful story!I have no words, I'm still processing what I just read!I have read and loved almost all Chanel's books but nothing is like that!This was amazing!Next Year in Havana is an emotional,intense, heartbreaking and heartwarming story!

    Next Year in Havana follows two different timelines. The first timeline tells the story of Elisa in 1958 Havana, Cuba, and the second timeline follows Elisa’s granddaughter, Marisol, as she travels back to Havana to scatter her grandmother’s ashes.I loved both Eliza and Marisol but for some reason I felt more connected with Eliza and her story!Her story was so intense I have so many feelings and I find myself crying at some points.Marisol life was easier but still I love her she was strong heroine!

    The writing is so beautiful and flawless, the story is poignant and the characters amazing!I was fascinated by the history in this one, it makes me want to travel in this place!This is a must read!If you are looking for a brilliant story with history,romance and heartbreaking moments this is perfect for you!!

     

  • Carlene Inspired

    Oh my, it is impossible to give this book the proper review it deserves. I can't summarize it in a way that shows you just how wonderful this book was to read, you just have to read it yourself. Next Year in Havana is a beautiful, heart wrenching tale that brings Cuba and its inhabitants, and exiles, to life. It's one of the best Historical Fictions I have read in a very long time, with incredible, descriptive writing and a story that pulled so much emotion from me. I found myself entranced, enj

    Oh my, it is impossible to give this book the proper review it deserves. I can't summarize it in a way that shows you just how wonderful this book was to read, you just have to read it yourself. Next Year in Havana is a beautiful, heart wrenching tale that brings Cuba and its inhabitants, and exiles, to life. It's one of the best Historical Fictions I have read in a very long time, with incredible, descriptive writing and a story that pulled so much emotion from me. I found myself entranced, enjoying the opulence of upper-class life with Elisa Perez as Chanel Cleeton took us back in time to 1959 and the magical, but increasingly dangerous streets of Havana. Told from the dual perspectives of Elisa in the past and her great-granddaughter, Marisol, in the present, readers get to visit the city frozen in time. It's about love, passion, history, freedom, and patriotism.

    Elisa and Marisol's time in Cuba mirror one anothers, with Marisol learning far more about the woman she called grandmother while on the streets she once roamed. I really appreciated how similar Elisa and Marisol were, yet their differences were distinct and profound when you consider the locations and politics that each grew up in. They each are strong, stubborn women who yearn for knowledge and adventure that their families do not understand. Marisol's knowledge of Cuba is from romantic stories of the past, an impossible dream that reality could never live up to, and so similar to the viewpoint that many young Americans still have. Her view is changed as she sees Cuba as it is today, crumbling, but still sparkling and strong. Elisa's view is from the viewpoint of a woman on the cusp of true adulthood, her place in the world not meant for politics and social injustice, but her love of a passionate, educated man challenges that.

    Chanel Cleeton details the pre-revolution change and present day regime with extensive detail, bringing emotion and personal feelings into a story we only know from the pages of history books. Both secondary male characters, Pablo and Luis, open up the main character's eyes, their quiet insubordination and challenge of the power exerted on them shaking up the comfort each has had in their unenlightened lives. There is so much grace in how Elisa and Marisol accept the difficulties presented to them, with Elisa embracing the struggles of exile and Marisol adopting the same courage many Cubans do with seeking and sharing the realities and truths of life in Cuba. Then there's the many secondary characters, beginning with Ana and growing increasingly more interesting with each interaction with the people of Elisa's past, like Magda, and the new people in Marisol's present, like Luis, Cristina, and even her great-aunt Beatriz. Each shares their view on Cuba as it was and is today, their stories shaping Marisol and bringing her even closer to her grandmother and to the country that feels like home.

    Next Year in Havana was such a powerful story for me, with Cuba coming to life with Chanel Cleeton's imagery and the detail given to the injustices of life there so evocative. The novel came across as very authentic, with two equally important plots, the romance of the characters and the romance between the country and its people. I was so overcome with emotion, I cried at times that weren't truly sad moments in the story, but rather tugged at my heart as I pictured Cuba and its resilient people. It took this book from a historical romance to a literary masterpiece, the pages filled with culture and people devoted to a country that has let it down.

    Next Year in Havana is a romantic, hopeful story with well-developed characters whose adventures parallel one another in past and present Cuba. I really fell in love with this novel and have so much compassion for the characters. It's a thoughtful novel, poignant and very relevant to the times. Historical Fiction fans will fall in love with Next Year in Havana and Chanel Cleeton's lyrical prose. You'll find yourself wandering the streets of Havana, admiring the vintage cars and the bright colors, and you won't regret a moment spent living in this book. If you're a sentimental girl like me, grab a pack of tissues for when you start your journey.

    ARC provided.

  • 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 ♥

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    Next year in Havana is one of those books that I took one look at and just knew that I wanted to read. The cover is breathtakingly beautiful and the blurb promised the reader an unforgettable story. I was very interested in Che Guevara in my early twenties, and I still find him to be a fascinating person. And the history of Cuba is also very interesting so guess my delight to get the chance of reading a historical fiction book set in Cuba.

    Next year in Havana has a dual storyline, with one story

    Next year in Havana is one of those books that I took one look at and just knew that I wanted to read. The cover is breathtakingly beautiful and the blurb promised the reader an unforgettable story. I was very interested in Che Guevara in my early twenties, and I still find him to be a fascinating person. And the history of Cuba is also very interesting so guess my delight to get the chance of reading a historical fiction book set in Cuba.

    Next year in Havana has a dual storyline, with one story taking place in 1958 when Batista was driven from the country and Castro took control of the country and you either stayed and took your chance with the new government or you left like the Perez family did in this book. They hoped that they would one day return to Havana, but it will not be until 2017 before a member of the Perez family will return when Marisol Ferrera travels to her family's birth country.

    I particularly liked the contrast between now and then Cuba will reading the book. In many ways have time stood still in Cuba since Castro took power and through this book, one gets a glimpse both how it was during Batista's rule and the situations in the country after Castro's death. The most tragic thing is that the people just wanted to be free and they thought Castro would be the one to give back Cuba to its people. It didn't turn out that way instead they traded one terrible situation for another.

    The book also promotes the reader some passionate love stories, both Elisa and Marisol found themselves swept off their feet. I guarantee if you are looking for some great love stories, then you don't need to look any further!

    Next Year in Havana is a fantastic book with two equally interesting storylines. And the best thing is that there will be a sequel released about Eliza's sister Beatriz. I can't wait to read the book!

  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

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