If you loved Next Year in Havana and following Elisa Perez and her story of the revolution in Cuba, you will LOVE this book that tells the tale of the gorgeous, and enchantingly fiery Beatriz, Elisa’s older sister, and how life goes on after the family moves to America. You do not need to read Next Year in Havana to enjoy this story as it stands really well on it’s own (they both do!), but Chanel Cleeton’s first book is FANTASTIC, so you probably should anyway!
Beatriz is a spitfire of a young woman, feisty and smart and uncompromising of her passions and beliefs. She turns down marriage proposals almost as often as she turns heads, and I was thrilled she got her own story for us to feast upon.
During the Cuban revolution, the Perez family has to quickly flee for their safety to America and as tensions run high between the two countries, Beatriz struggles to find her place in this foreign country she just cannot fathom ever calling home. Her beliefs and desire for revenge on Castro and his regime clash with her mothers wishes for her to settle down and marry, and she finds many of her choices in love and life seem to be doing nothing but causing shame upon the already crestfallen family.
Her determination to fight for her beloved home finds her in precarious situations after being recruited by the CIA to get into Castro’s inner circle. But she knows she is exactly where she needs to be, doing what she has to do, and is steadfast to complete the ultimate task to salvage some of the life her family has lost. Strong-willed and resolute, she’s careful not to let her guard fall, while simultaneously falling for an important man who seems just beyond her reach.
I am not a good non-fiction reader. I zone out. I lose attention quickly. It’s only when a story like THIS comes along that I feel like I can actually absorb important history. The book is fiction, of course, but is inspired by tumultuous events and incidents as Cuban-American tension, the Bay of Pigs, the missle crisis, and the Kennedy assassination.
It takes an incredible story and even more incredible character like Beatriz, along with Chanel’s effortless writing, and I feel like I’ve been opened up to this magical country that seemed always so mysterious and closed off to the world. Through both of her books following these strong-willed Perez women, my eyes have been opened and my heart aches for the people of Cuba and everything they lost. Everything they could have had.
Beatriz is a character I won’t forget for a long time. Her story is wildly impressive and her spirit is magnificent. When We Left Cuba is engrossing, and riveting, and will capture your heart from the very beginning – it’s a dramatic and captivating historical saga, a gorgeous and delicious romance, and in the end – an exquisite love letter to Cuba.
Thank you so much to Chanel Cleeton and Berkley Publishing #partner for gifting me this free book in exchange for an honest review.
Chanel is hosting an amazing giveaway as well:
There is a Rafflecopter giveaway for the tour for a $100 Amazon Gift Card, Lilly Pulitzer palm tree necklace and earrings set, When We Left Cuba coffee mug, Besame cosmetics vintage-inspired lipstick, signed When We Left Cuba recipe cards, and signed When We Left Cuba bookmarks. The giveaway will run from April 7th-20th.
You can enter here to win!
In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life–and heart–to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.
Beautiful. Daring. Deadly.
The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez–her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.
As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future–but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything–not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart…
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Berkley (April 9, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 045149086X
- ISBN-13: 978-0451490865
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2KQM6MG
Chanel Cleeton is the USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana. Originally from Florida, Chanel 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.
Learn more about When We Left Cuba including downloading the book club guide and more at: http://www.chanelcleeton.com/when-we-left-cuba