Mini Book Review: ‘Next Year in Havana’ by Chanel Cleeton

Review by Roxanna Coldiron


This is the story of two women, separated by time, connected by family and country, who experienced their Cuban heritage in different ways and found love along the way.

Marisol goes to the country of her grandmother Elisa’s birth to spread her ashes and learns more about her grandmother as a young woman and the forbidden love she had during the political upheaval of 1950s Cuba.

First Impressions

The dual timeline story is one of my favorites. We rarely think about what life was like for our grandparents when they were young because we are so tied to our own time and our lives.

Cleeton expertly weaves both the past and the present together in a way that is engaging and thought-provoking. Each woman (Elisa and Marisol) gets to share her own story from her point of view. It feels a bit like time travel.

Final Thoughts

What I loved about this book is how the author tells the story of the two women from their own points of view and clearly indicates which woman is telling the story.

History and social context are also interwoven into the story as well as the questions that we all have about our identity and where we fit in the world.



(Image via Pixabay/Falkenpost – Creative Commons License )