I think I mentioned this in my previous review, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again – historical fiction is one of my favorite genres out there. I’ve always been a history gal, always looked forward to my history classes. Where everyone else was snoozing through the series The Blue and The Grey in 7th grade, I was devouring every minute of it and sobbing over Jonas and Mary’s tragic love story (sorry if I ruined it for you). It was this depiction, among other books, in all its flawed glory that showed me that you can give even more meaning to history to people when you put it in a familiar emotional context for people to understand.
When an author forces the reader to stand where a regular person stood amidst the turmoil of an event in history, it forces the reader to be emotionally involved. Next Year in Havana did that for me as well. I’m not ready to let go of the high of reading that book just yet, and if you aren’t either, I’ve included my picks on what to read next.
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This book was the first book I read this year (2018) and it changed EVERYTHING. In the main protagonist, Evelyn you get the same spirit as Elisa. They both work hard and love harder. The backdrop is set around the same era as Next Year in Havana and includes all the mystery and intrigue as well!
- Lady Be Good by Amber Brock – I have not read this book yet, but it’s on my radar after I spied on it in the bookstore. From New York to Miami to Cuba in the 1950’s, I believe this book will have the same whirlwind feel of Next Year in Havana.
- Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras – Okay, bear with me, so this book has nothing to do with Cuba. With that being said it is still historical fiction and takes place in 1990’s Colombia during a time of political unrest. This book comes out next week and I’m excited to pick it up and learn about something I have only slightly heard about.
- To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway – For those of you who like the classics (although that term can be problematic), Hemingway sweeps you away into adventure, bootlegging, romance, and yes, Cuba. I read this years ago as a high school student and hardly remember the entire plot. I’m interested to read it now with more understanding than I did as an awkward teenager.
Let me know if you plan on reading any of those books or read Next Year in Havana. I’m always happy to fangirl with you! To end this post I’ve included a scene from Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.