Wednesday, March 23, 2022

The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba

 A couple summers ago I read Chanel Cleeton’s “When We Left Cuba” and “Next Year in Havana” and completely loved both books. When I discovered on Audible that there was a third book in the series I was completely thrilled, and “The Most Beautiful Girl In Cuba” did not disappoint! 

All three of Chanel Cleeton’s books do a beautiful job a painting a picture of different time periods, setting, dynamics, family turmoil, and she always does such a wonderful job of developing her characters. I’m not sure of the exact order of this book series, but I think the first book is “When We Left Cuba”, then “Next Year in Havana”, and finally “The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba”, in case you would like to read these books in a certain order.


In “The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba” Cleeton intertwines the story of three notable women during the Spanish-America War and the Cuban fight for freedom. Grace, an aspiring journalist finds herself living in New York City with her aunt during the Gilded Age. She is caught between a newspaper rivalry but decides to be a report for the Journal. 


Meanwhile, In Havana, eighteen-year-old Evangelina is unjustly imprisoned by the Spanish. An American reporter learns of her plight and features Evangelina’s story along with her photo in a newspaper and is later deemed ‘the most beautiful girl in Cuba’. Her image and story soon become a rallying symbol for America intervention for Cuba’s fight for independence. 


The third important character in this story is Mariana Perez. A courier secretly working for the Cuban resistance, and aids in their attempt to free Evangelina. 


The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba” is a beautifully told story and seamlessly ties the lives of three different women together. Highly recommend!

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