I absolutely loved this book.
I’m not sure if it’s because I want to go to Cuba really bad or if it was just simply a great book. This book takes place in both present day Cuba and the Cuba during the beginning of Fidel’s rule. The story follows Marisol and her quest to get to know her deceased grandmother’s life back in Cuba before she fled the country during the revolution.
Marisol is a journalist who travels back to Cuba- one of her grandmother’s dying wishes for her. She stays with an old family friend & is determined to uncover her family’s secrets. She finds out more than she bargains for & even falls in love (spoiler alert!). The book was written in both Marisol’s presents day point of view & her grandmother Elisa’s point of view back when she was a teenager. I loved the back & forth and seeing the story unfold from both time periods. This was very clever writing on the author, Chanel Cleeton’s part.
This books portrays Cuba in what I can only imagine to be a realistic way for the people who have lived there all throughout Batista and Fidel’s reigns. I hold this magical view of Cuba in my head of white sandy beaches, brightly painted buildings & lively music in the streets. Sadly, that has not been the case. Just reading about the fear instilled in the locals by their own government is just so incredibly sad. It really makes me grateful to live in a country that believes in the freedom of its people.
The only thing I didn’t particularly like about this book was that some parts felt like I was reading a history book. I totally get that it was important for the reader to understand the historical back story of Cuba in order to really feel the turmoil and terror people went through during the revolution. And what some people are still suffering through. But history is just not my thing & some chapters were a bit hard to concentrate on.
Overall this book is a must read. I totally get why Reese Witherspoon made this part of her book club!! Chanel’s descriptions of Cuba make you feel like you are actually there. That and I watched the episode where the Kardashians visit Cuba- so like I have a pretty good idea of the Cuban culture! LOL! Traveling to Cuba is definitely on my bucket list for sure!