Chanel Cleeton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana and When We Left Cuba. 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. Visit the Author's website to read more here.
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is reading Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton for July Book Club.
I could not put down, Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. Being from Key West, there has always been this mystique surrounding our neighbor due south about 90 miles. Cuba is described as many things, an island paradise lost in time, a land devastated after years of revolution and political unrest, a country without freedom where even today, Cubans risk their lives in makeshift boats to get to U.S. soil. This novel delivers a powerful story of Cuba and the resilience and strength of the Cuban people.
Cheeton’s novel tells the tale of two Cuban women, Elise and Marisol. High society Elise Perez, whose father owns a successful sugar plantation, retells the story of life and love during the turbulent time of Castro’s overthrow of the Batista regime in 1958. The Perez family and others loyal to Batista flee Cuba and seek refuge in Miami. They begin a new life in the U.S. with a dream to return to Cuba when Castro is dead or forced out. Fast forward to 2017, Marisol has grown up listening to her beloved grandmother Elisa’s stories of Cuba. After her grandmother’s death and a promise to bring her ashes back to her homeland, Marisol starts out on an adventure that changes her life forever.
Episode 314, Chanel Cleeton Interview