April 12, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: April 9, 2019
Formidable. Stubborn. Inspiring. All words to describe Beatriz Perez, the heroine of this story.
I signed up for the blog tour in January and immediately had to hustle and read NYIH, which introduced me to the Perez family and their wonderful love of their country.
When We Left Cuba is Beatriz’s story as we see her torn between her past and future, her willingness to do anything to help Cuba and have someone answer for her twin brothers death.
This story has a much different feel to it. The pacing and language is a bit more formal. Beatriz spends a lot of time alone in Palm Beach while Nick is in DC. Her family is busy and not concerned with her. She is introspective and that makes her reckless. She wants to enjoy her time with Nick but she knows they have impossible barriers. They have an idyllic time together, but I felt there was more passion with Eduardo (of course)!
When she finally does go back to Cuba and faces Fidel, it’s what she has been waiting for and sacrificed everything for. She tries not to get caught up in everyone else’s agendas.
I never realized how lonely spies must be, how difficult it is to wear a mask each day you go out into the world, and are filled with the impulse to drop the pretense just once. And even as it is lonely, as it is difficult, I like it. Like what it has made me—Brave, strong, independent.
I learned a lot about the historical events during the time and could easily visualize the time period and the setting thanks to the authors meticulous research. One downside was that the political aspect seemed to be somewhat heavy handed and dense. Beatriz’s inner monologue was a little repetitive. I preferred Next Year in Havana but look forward to Ms. Cleeton’s next book.
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. www.chanelcleeton.com
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