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Publisher's Summary

 A Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine on Audible Pick 

"A beautiful novel full of passion, secrets, courage and sacrifice." (Reese Witherspoon)

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity - and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution 

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, 19-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest - until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary.... 

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. 

When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Next Year in Havana

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brought me back to Cuba

It has been, by far, the best novel I have listed to. Moreover, the narrators are more than perfect. I am usually turned off when it’s not the author reading. They are the perfect women for it.

I usually find stories about Cuba to be exaggerated in one way or the other. Too romantic or too tragic. Not this one. Chanel Cleeton clearly knows what she is talking about. The descriptions are simply perfect and real. I was taken back to every location.

I am Canadian, not Cuban. But I have been to the island 7 times, the last 2 living the Cuban life (in Centro Habana, Playa and San Antonio de les Baños) with my Cuban friends that I have I known for years. The discussions the main character had with Cubans are the one I have had over the years. Having been to every location mentioned, in Cuba and Florida, it made me feel like I was back there given how realistic the descriptions are:

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Engaging story featuring 1 place & 2 time periods

For the most part, I enjoyed this book. The two stories (the grandmother's past and the granddaughter's future) had interesting parallels and their own romance, mystery, and relationships to Cuba.

You learn a lot about Cuba in this book, which is fine, but at times it came off too heavy-handed. Everyone seems to just talk to each other about Cuba, there is almost no non-Cuba-related dialogue in the entire book. Even lovers are discussing Cuban politics shortly after amorous activities.

My main complaint about this audiobook has to do with the author's style and its presentation in audio form. The two main characters have a lot of inner monologue that is no different in style from their spoken dialogue. The author does not use "I said" very often, which is normally fine (as some over use it), since distinguishing spoken dialogue and inner monologue would be easy when looking at the text. In the audio version, however, it is very difficult . This is the first audiobook that I've ever had major issues distinguishing inner and outer dialogue. It distracts from the experience and affects how you view the burgeoning relationships, depending on whether things are spoken aloud or not.

1 person found this helpful

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To Next Year, in Havana

When I began reading Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton, I feared another cliché. We didn't need another story about a woman, who after the death of close relative discovers they weren't the person they thought they were. Turns out, we did need another. We needed one about Cuba.

Although the writing and narration at the beginning of the book felt stilted, the history of Havana politics and the cultural movement around it was fascinating The story jumps back and forth between present and past and Elisa's narrator brought the story to life for the listener.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Mostly a boring history lesson.

I found this story to be mostly boring but then I don't have a direct connection to Cuba. I'm sure part of it has to do with the mostly expressionless performance by the narrators.

1 person found this helpful

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Breathtakingly Beautiful.

I came across this book by accident and its words swept me away to a Cuba I have seen and a Cuba that I have read about. This book is romantic and touching and heartbreaking all at the same time. It offers some wonderful history, as well as, a darkness that loomed during the revolution. I did not know the full extent of how the revolution of 1959 broke Cuba. I also did not know the extent of the Cuban spirit, although, in reflection I can now see the desire to endure despite of so many obstacles that was present when I traveled there. To read this may change how you feel about your travels to Cuba. I hope it does. Moreover, to read this book will offer you an in depth look into how the human spirit can prevail.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Boring, pedantic and poor narration.

the narrator of the modern day character had no tonal inflection. And I literally couldn't stand hearing the word Cuba any more.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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An American viewpoint of Cuba

I don’t understand all the good reviews. I found the story relatively tiresome and repetitive to listen to. I expected it to be an interesting novel set in Cuba, but the author’s main goal was to preach about Castro and the evils of communism. As another reviewer put it, how realistic is it for the main characters to talk about politics after making love for the first time! Seriously? America to the rescue once again (eye roll).

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!!

I’m surprised how much I enjoyed this book considering I bought it on a whim not know what it was about. I happy to see there are more in the series and can’t wait to read them as well.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Historical Background but So Earnest

The only Cuban history I know is from American History classes I took for my Canadian undergraduate degree and I have loved books from Reese’s book club in the past. The history and details are incredible but ugh, the story device of the two romantic storylines, the star-crossed lovers and the very earnest (and not particularly insightful) writing of the author made this one a bit of a slog. I kept thinking how good this book could have been if it was written better — which probably doesn’t help that I just finished the new Elena Ferrante novel. All the characters are so noble and everyone is just doing the right thing...and although I realize the narrators have pronounced “Cuba” properly, it started to feel like fingernails down a chalkboard.

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Amazing

Loved it. Finished it more quickly than usual. Chanel Cleeton transports you to Havana! A must read for our times.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Grace F
  • 2018-07-10

Amazing story line but the performance...

I absolutely loved this book and was sucked in. The performance was bit dry and slow but I found that if you changed the speed of the reading to atleast x1.5 or x1.75 it made it so much better!

303 people found this helpful

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  • LGM
  • 2018-07-17

Bad audio

It’s not that the narrator was unpleasant to listen to, it’s just that the audio was incredibly hard to hear in this book. I listen to audiobooks in my car every day, but I could barely hear this unless I turned the AC off, not ideal in 100° Dallas weather!!

189 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • LeslieLu
  • 2018-09-07

Meh

I had a hard time getting through this book. it was interesting to learn about Cuba but the storyline did not keep me wanting more. I could have stopped mid book and been fine never finishing it.

49 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • DKMag Arts
  • 2018-09-22

Couldn’t Finish Listening

I found the performance very monotone and dull. I was not entertained by the reader to the point that I kept having to rewind because I found my mind kept wandering. I gave up on the book very early in.

71 people found this helpful

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  • LINDA D.
  • 2018-08-09

Very Disappinted

Although the history and description of Cuba then and now was interesting and especially to me since I visited Cuba in 2014 while my daughter was on a study abroad program there, I was extremely disappointed in the caliber of the story and in the caliber of the narration. The story is very tedious and sounds as if it were written by a complete novice. Additionally, everything about the story and the formula for the writing is completely predictable. The narration is lacking in expression and depth and the interjection of the Cuban pronunciation of the word Cuba as ‘Kuba” seems out of place given the complete American accent of the narrators in every other part of the book. I really liked Reese Witherspoon‘s recommendation of Something in the Water and expected this book to be good also. I was very surprised that this book was recommended as part of her book club recommendations. I would not recommend it to anyone as it is such a predictable, tedious, elementary and poorly narrated book.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Mercy Boujarwah
  • 2018-03-03

Emotional Listen for me....

From the moment I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. This is the story of a Cuban American family and the legacy of the revolution on them. The story changes from the present to the time of the revolution (1958-59). The book is meticulously researched and written in a very compelling way. I could imagine myself having all the feelings and emotions of the modern day, Marisol, as she returns to Cuba. This book engulfed me for the entire time I was reading it. The narration was very good. I thought having 2 narrators was excellent. Definitely worth a credit!😊

62 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanna B VonBergen
  • 2018-09-04

So SLOW

I shamefully admit that I was drawn to this book because it was selected by Reese. Ugh, I was swayed by a celeb. The history of Cuba was intriguing, but the story was painfully slow. It took me about 4 weeks to get through the book. Also the reader read in such a monotone voice that I would find myself just tuning her out. I’m just happy I finished it and can move on to something more exciting.

23 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Lori
  • 2018-08-18

Strike 2 for Hello Sunshine

I hate this book so much. I've got two hours left and can't bring myself to finish it. I don't even care enough to skip ahead and find out what happens in the end. The dialogue is insufferable. The repetition is maddening. The characters are completely unlikable. The contradictory statements would be laughable if they weren't such a waste of my time. And the narration is cringe worthy.

64 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • BKline
  • 2018-02-24

Two Cuba's - Yesterday & Today

My wife is from Cuba and I live near Miami, so I know its history well. The then-and-now story is well developed but narrated with minimal emotion, hardly how a Cuban would tell it. Nonetheless, the history is accurate and the state of the island today is spot on. Though two narrators are used, it is hard to distinguish one from the other. My biggest complaint is that Cuban names of people and places are spoken with a Spanish pronunciation, although the narration is in perfect English. So Cuba becomes Koobah and location names are hard to understand. For me, it was a distraction, and it is not how I hear Cubans in Miami speak English. Other than that, the story will draw you in, teach you about a magic place and the people who love it, and paint a stark picture of how Cuba exchanged one despot for an even worse one.

104 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-04-12

Interesting but a bit tedious "Cuban" story

A 2nd generation Cuban American shoulders the burden of her grandmother's loss, at age 19, of her native country. Grandmother yearned all her life for her romanticized memory of her opulent life in pre-Castro Cuba and leaves the granddaughter with a somewhat schizophrenic view of her own nationality, wanting to return to a country that never WAS hers, and really never existed.
The story gives some good insights into the revolution-damaged nation's troubles but too much redundancy and trite phraseology in the telling.
The narrator is effective but uses a dreamy voice all throughout where I would have preferred a wider emotional range. Perhaps I should be ashamed to admit that some pronunciation also grated on my ears, (particularly the dropping of central consonants; e.g., "ser-un" instead of "ser-ten" for "certain".)

47 people found this helpful