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Next Year in Havana

Written by: Chanel Cleeton
Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (129 ratings)

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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    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:

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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interesting historical view of Cuba, and life befo

Interesting historical view of Cuba before and after the revolution. Great characters and good story

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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fantastic read, very educational

I loved the mix of romance, adventure, and history and learned so much from this story. I was unaware of the situation in Cuba and this story led me to learn more and have a completely different perspective if ever I was to travel there. Rich descriptions and great love story.

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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mesmerizing

Eye opening and heart breaking in the most beautiful way. I listened to it in preparation for my vacation in Cuba and it seriously inhanced my experience and changed my outlook.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

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romance

loved the story between two generations! well read and keeps you wanting more! couldn't wait put it down!

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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.

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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!

215 of 221 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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!!

139 of 143 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

35 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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!😊

48 of 52 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

84 of 93 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

34 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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".)

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Janiene
  • 2018-11-25

Narration not the only problem

I agree with so many other reviews regarding the narration. I think there was an attempt to sound wistful and dreamy, but instead came across as whiney and depressing, slowing the story in feel. However, this is not entirely her fault. The storyline is so repetitive and predictable. The Cuban people are full of passion, confident, powerful and intelligent, but an author can not instill that point by saying ...he is full of passion with an insecure voice. The history aspect read like a wikipedia page. I am not a socialist or communist so I was slow to sympathize with some of the perceived judgements or resentments about how the US brought tyranny to all of Cuba and that tourism is such a bad thing. The mob being there, yes, but that is not what prevented the prosperity of the cuban people. Neither was it Big Sugar's fault that they did not have food on their table. Growing up in South Florida, tourism was one of the most important ways to make money in the early years and it fed alot of families there. It is also what led to people wanting to be there and attracting further business. The fact that the cubans were dependent on other countries to meet their needs is a fact for any Island nation. Being beholden to these nations and the lack of prosperity to the masses is not the foreign gov't fault. It is the poor government on that island, but although that point was also made, I was surprised at what I thought were resentful remarks throughout the book towards these foreign governments for not caring for or taking responsibility for the Cuban people. The main character apologizing and feeling "shame" because she has always eaten well... well, who doesn't cringe at someone not having enough, but to apologize for being american... sometimes people forget what it takes and took for that to happen, and how a prosperous community is built when people are free to create, like what the cuban people accomplished in south florida when they were free to extend their skills. The romances for me were a bit colorless. I think they were stunted because they were really just a framework to drape the historical story. I was excited to read the story, but for me, it became painful only two hours in.

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tsipi Kaplan
  • 2018-05-26

Interesting story

The story is truly important and very interesting.
I was not crazy about the performance

29 of 33 people found this review helpful