When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Date Read: April 7, 2019
Length: 368 pages
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…
This was such a wonderful story! I really enjoyed Chanel Cleeton’s Next Year in Havana so I was really excited to learn that one of my favorite characters in that book would get to tell her own story. This is that story. The events in this book take place after those in Next Year in Havana and while I enjoyed seeing all of the characters again, this story stands on its own. I was hooked by this story from the very beginning and had a fantastic time with this book.
This is really a big story. Beatriz and her family are living in Florida after fleeing Cuba when Castro came into power. The family has suffered a lot of losses and it has been a difficult adjustment. Beatriz and her family hope to go back to Cuba but are also trying to make a life in Florida. Beatriz’s mother would like to see all of her daughters married but Beatriz has other ideas. She has turned down quite a few marriage proposals and is more focused on revenge.
This story was filled with excitement. Beatriz works with the CIA and let’s just say that her life is far from boring. She was passionate about the cause that she was working towards and it was really quite interesting to see her in action. Some of her missions were more exciting than others but it was great to see her in action.
I was really taken by the romance in this story. It was not your average romance and I am actually somewhat surprised that I was so taken with it but I just found myself swept away by their chemistry. Nick and Beatriz were just great together. They were incredibly attracted to each other and couldn’t seem to stay apart even when they tried. There were so many things that seemed to work against the possibility of a relationship between them but they just couldn’t stay away from each other. There were things about their relationship that made me sad and I wouldn’t necessarily say everything turns out well but I think they were both better for knowing each other.
I really enjoyed the politics and history that were a part of this book. This was such an eventful period of time and I loved seeing some of the events that I have learned about worked into this story. I thought that all of the little details that the author included really added to the authenticity of the story.
I would highly recommend this book to others. This was a captivating story about a passionate character working to make a difference in the world while trying to find some happiness for herself. I cannot wait to read more from this talented author.
I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.
About the Author
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.Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Facebook Reader Group | Twitter | Newsletter | Instagram
This will be one of my favorites for the year. Loved Beatriz!
so excited about this one 😀 I love her writing and heard nothing but amazing things for this book. High hopes
I would be interssted in this one!
I saw this one on NetGalley and nearly downloaded a copy, but then changed my mind and now I'm kicking myself! Glad it was such a great choice for you 🙂
I've seen several very positive reviews for this now! Glad you enjoyed it so much- it does sound like a wonderful read, with an amazing relationship story along with the historical elements.
I loved the first book in this series, and I am so excited to read this one. Beatriz sounds like she was an amazing woman.
I met her at RT in 2016 and she's lovely. I have one of her earlier books, autographed, and yet to read. Obviously, I should try to get to it. Execellent review!
Anne – Books of My Heart
Okay so I just added this book to my Goodreads wishlist! I studied Fidel Castro and Cuba in history class and it was one of my favourite topics, especially when it came to how it affected the people who left or stayed. The cover is gorgeous and the actual elements of the novel themselves sound so wonderful too. Thank you so much for recommending this one!!
I've had my eye on this book, glad to see that you liked it. I'll add it to my cart soon. Wonderful review 🙂
I haven't heard of this one yet, but it does sound good. Especially when you mention how much you like the politics and history of it–as well as the characters. I will have to give this one a try! Thank you for your great review.
This sounds really interesting and this is a period of time that really intrigues me. All I really know about the Cuban Revolution (other than Castro came into power) is that the mob was kicked out and my great aunt and uncle couldn't visit Cuba anymore and it was one of their favorite places. I'm adding this to my TBR.