As a granddaughter of a Cuban exile, this story brought back the stories my mother used to tell about her life in Cuba. She grew up in a privileged family, just like one of the main characters, Elisa Perez. My mother visited Cuba often with my brother and I in tow. Sadly, the revolution brought the visits to a halt. This book deals with those tumultuous times.
Next Year in Havana, tells a story about Marisol and her Grandmother, Elisa. It delves into how families were split up, many never heard from again. Some fled to the United States when Castro came to power, and some either could not bear to leave their homeland, or were prevented from leaving. This book tells about those times, and how many things remain the same even today. Marisol, soon learns the spirit of those within the beautiful homeland never faltered.
Marisol was raised in the United States, but always relished the stories her grandmother, Elisa told her about Cuba. Broken-hearted after her grandmother’s death, Marisol travels to Cuba to fulfill Elisa’s final wish—to spread her ashes somewhere in her homeland.
Once there, Marisol meets obstacles, both of the heart, and politically. She acquires a box filled with mementos. Among them are letters from a revolutionary—a man her grandmother loved. This sparks a profound need to find out more. In doing so, lives are changed.
The peek into Cuba’s political and everyday life, culture, scenic beauty, and the dual love story, left me breathless. The descriptions drew me into the story so well, I could feel the sea breeze, smell the salt in the air, and hear the laughter in the street. In addition, my heart raced with the kidnapping of individuals. I will not forget this book. Ever.
The writing is impeccable. There is much more to this book than what I’ve included here. It is so hard to do it justice with a few paragraphs. Dive into this story. I guarantee you will enjoy the love, loss, secrets, redemption, mystery, healing and so much more.
I received a copy of this book from Net Galley