“The story of Cuba is one of struggles and strife. When we were girls, we were kept from most of it, but the edges seeped through, crawling over the gates. Batista was a harsh president. He loved sugar, loved the money that flowed into the country from overseas, but he didn’t love the Cuban people. He wanted to be king over a people who didn’t want to be ruled.”
Stop what you’re doing and READ THIS BOOK! It’s gorgeous in every way possible – the storyline, the characters, the twists and turns, the writing.
Told in two alternating perspectives – grandmother and granddaughter, past and present – Cleeton accomplishes so much. While I was mostly anticipating a romantic story, I had no idea I was in for the most fascinating Cuban history lesson. I loved the side story of Marisol and Luis, but it was the grandmother’s story that captured my heart. As a granddaughter of an immigrant myself, I loved the thought of learning about my grandma’s history and perspectives in a way that Marisol did! And while I knew little to nothing about Cuba and its past, this book opened up a door I didn’t know I even cared to walk through.
Cuba herself is a character of this story. Through Cleeton’s writing, I felt as if I were walking the streets of Havana as I read. I felt the heat, saw the beauty, and smelled the food.
This is one of the most gorgeous books I’ve read in a long time. I can’t wait to read When We Left Cuba now which will be on shelves on April 9, 2019!