Saturday, 10 February 2018

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton BLOG TOUR & REVIEW

Next Year in Havana
by Chanel Cleeton


February 6, 2018
Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction

Book Summary:

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.

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Add Beatriz Perez’s story WHEN WE LEFT CUBA on Goodreads:

Praise for Next Year in Havana:

Chanel Cleeton's Next Year In Havana is a flat-out stunner of a book, at once a dual-timeline mystery, a passionate romance, and paean to the tragedy and beauty of war-torn Cuba. The story of sugar heiress Elisa, watching Cuba fall into revolution as Castro rises, is intertwined with the modern-day tale of Elisa's granddaughter Marisol as she returns to Cuba after Castro's death. Both women fall for fire-brand revolutionaries, but Cuba itself emerges as their true love-interest, threatening to break both women's hearts as Elisa and Marisol each grapple in their own way with what it is to be Cuban, what it is to be an exile, and how to love and live in a homeland riven by revolution. Simply wonderful!
- Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network
Cleeton has penned an atmospheric, politically insightful, and highly hopeful homage to a lost world. Devour NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA and you, too, will smell the perfumed groves, taste the ropa vieja, and feel the sun on your face. Just a wonderful and educational book!
Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America's First Daughter
A vivid, transporting novel. Next Year in Havana is about journeys-- into exile, into history, and into questions of home and identity. It's an engrossing read.

David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife
An evocative, passionate story of family loyalty and forbidden love that moves seamlessly between the past and present of Cuba’s turbulent history— how one young woman’s sacrifice becomes the key to her granddaughter’s future—how culture and spirit survive against all odds. Next Year in Havana kept me enthralled and savoring every word.
- Shelley NobleNew York Times bestselling author of Whisper Beach
In Next Year in Havana, Chanel Cleeton's prose is as beautiful as Cuba itself, and the story she weaves--of exile and loss, memory and myth, forbidden love and enduring friendship--is at once sweeping and beautifully intimate. This is a moving, heartfelt, and gorgeously realized story that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
- Jennifer RobsonUSA Today bestselling author of Somewhere in France

Author Information:

Originally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family's exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master's degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

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Melinda Lazar 

Next Year in HavanaNext Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

I hesitated in requesting to review this book and one of the main reasons I did request was because that stunning cover just drew me right in and I had a feeling I might kick myself if I missed on the opportunity. I hesitated because I wasn't sure if it's the kind of book that would normally appeal to me: I like RomComs, the light and fluffy books that, while they do have substance, leave me feeling happy and sporting a smile and ready to move on to the next book. Next Year in Havana is neither light nor fluffy however, it gripped me from the very first page and it will stay with me long after the last page was turned.

Cleeton has written a superb synopsis and I won't insult her by rehashing that for you. I felt that Next Year in Havana was like reading two love stories, Marisol and her recently deceased grandmother, Elisa's. It's written so beautifully, so heartbreakingly, so visceral and raw that it consumed me to the last page and beyond. It entails the love between men and women, siblings, parents, friends. It encompassed love, loss, and betrayal and the beautiful writing had me reduced to tears.

I've never really given any thought to Cuba and how it's arrived at its present state but now I feel compelled to read about the revolution and learn everything I can - Cleeton's writing is just that good: captivating, engaging, gripping. This book is now a top favorite of mine and after that twist and excerpt, I cannot wait for the next. Next Year in Havana can absolutely be read as a standalone. I don't hesitate to recommend this to anyone who'll listen to me.

*arc received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

**Reviewed by Melinda for Joandisalovebooks Blog.

View all my reviews

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