?Have You Heard??Audiobooks For Your Listening Pleasure?Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton?Narrated by Kyla Garcia and Frankie Maria Corzo?

Posted August 8, 2018 by RobbieLea in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Also by this author: Fly With Me, , On Broken Wings (Wild Aces, #3), The Last Train to Key West
Published by Berkley Books on February 6, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 356
Format: Audiobook
ISBN: 0399586687
ASIN: B078NZ1653

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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#havana #cubanrevolution #castro #batista #revolutionary #cubanexiles #cubanamericans #blackstoneaudio @ChanelCleeton @KylaVictoria @frankiemcorzo @BerkleyPub

While it isn’t unusual for me to give a lot of thought to a book I’m going to review, I think I’ve spent an unusual amount of time stressing over what I would say about Chanel Cleeton’s compelling book Next Year in Havana. One of my rules is no politics, religion, or football on social media or on the blog since these are subjects that can suck the nice right out of people. Because the author has obviously done her research and has written an almost scholarly work set during the Cuban Revolution and beyond, it may be impossible to keep politics out of the review. Frankly, I think readers and listeners who aren’t students of Cuban history will find Ms. Cleeton’s story a bit of an education about a country which is just 90 miles from Key West, Florida. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Elisa Perez whose family barely escaped following Castro’s takeover and her granddaughter Marisol Ferrera, a Cuban-American journalist who has returned to Cuba to scatter Elisa’s ashes, a story unfolds of extreme wealth and extreme poverty, oppression and cruelty, and the enduring value of family loyalty and love. Your heart will break for the sacrifices that are made, for the years of separation and secrecy, and for the terrible price that sometimes must be paid for idealism.

Kyla Garcia and Frankie Maria Corzo alternate the narration and their reading of the author’s words hints at the rhythmic tones of the Spanish language even though the book is written in English. Their voices made it easy to envision the tropical beauty of Cuba.

I am going to recommend Next Year in Havana to any of my readers who like a touching love story set within a historical timeframe that is fairly recent. This one is loaded with political tension, family drama, and even has some unexpected twists and surprises for my adrenaline junkies. I commend Chanel Cleeton for taking on this project — it must have been bittersweet because of her Cuban heritage. As I listened and thought about all the unrest and dissension around us today, the phrase that kept running through my mind was “be careful what you wish for.” There is a lesson to be learned from Cuba. On a lighter note, I love, love, love the cover of the book designed by the Berkley art department. Readers and listeners will be happy to hear Marisol Ferrera’s colorful aunt Beatriz Perez has her own book coming out in 2019, so be on the lookout for When We Left Cuba which also has a great cover!


About Chanel Cleeton

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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