The year is 1959. Cuba is turning into chaos, and its aristocratic families are fleeing before things turn from bad to worse. Elisa Perez’s family is included with this departure. Nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez doesn’t want to go to Miami, Florida, but having no say in the matter, she prays that one day she will be able to return to her home city of Havana.
Fast-forward to 2017, Elisa’s granddaughter, Marisol, is about to land in Havana to spread her grandmother’s ashes. Little does she know that during her pursuit to find the perfect resting place, Marisol will uncover secrets that her grandmother buried in their family’s garden almost sixty years earlier!
Driven by her love for her grandmother and the desire to know her Cuban heritage, Marisol’s world is about to change forever. But, what was the secret life her grandmother was leading before she was forced to move to Miami? Will Marisol like what she finds? And, what will come of the new love she has formed along the way? Marisol is risking it all to learn the truth, but will she be forced to leave Havana heartbroken, without the closure she’s been looking for, just like Elisa did over fifty years ago?
Next Year in Havana was a very well-written book! Though the audiobook was mediocre at times, the last three hours made it all worthwhile. I loved how the book was constructed — whenever Marisol uncovered something new about her grandmother, the chapter would end, and we would hear about Marisol’s discovery through Elisa’s point of view. In school, I learned about Cuba’s struggles under Castro’s dictatorship, but listening to this book opened my eyes to a new understanding of the Cuban Revolution. Next Year in Havana is an enchanting novel that I think all historical fiction fanatics will love!