I’m so pleased to be taking part in the Quercus Blogger Book Club this summer. Last Dance in Havana was my first book for the summer and if it is anything to go by it’s going to be a great summer of reading!
Cuba, 1958. Elisa is only sixteen years old when she meets Duardo and she knows he’s the love of her life from the moment they first dance the rumba together in downtown Havana. But Duardo is a rebel, determined to fight in Castro’s army, and Elisa is forced to leave behind her homeland and rebuild her life in distant England. But how can she stop longing for the warmth of Havana, when the music of the rumba still calls to her?
England, 2012. Grace has a troubled relationship with her father, whom she blames for her beloved mother’s untimely death. And this year more than ever she could do with a shoulder to cry on – Grace’s career is in flux, she isn’t sure she wants the baby her husband is so desperate to have and, worst of all, she’s begun to develop feelings for their best friend Theo. Theo is a Cuban born magician but even he can’t make Grace’s problems disappear. Is the passion Grace feels for Theo enough to risk her family’s happiness?
From bestselling author Rosanna Ley comes an exotic tale of love, family and friendship set between England and Cuba.
Opening in a hot and steamy pre-revolution Cuba, Last Dance in Havana can’t help but to capture you’re imagination. From the dark drum beats of the rumba, to the bright and vivid colours of Havana. You are going to fall in love with the real Cuba, the Cuba Elisa grew up in before she leaves for a rather cold and grey England.
For me, I felt a special pull for the story set in England, as it is set in Bristol, to read such a beautiful story set in my hometown, to know so well the street’s the characters live in, and visit was special. I could perfectly picture them strolling along the waterfront, what their houses looked like as I know the houses on the street’s they lived on well. It made the book even more special.
Grace’s story was one of love won and love lost. Elisa and Grace tell us stories of what happens when you fall deeply in love and have to make decisions between the person who is potentially the love of your life, people you love, and moral rights and wrongs. Often in life (as well as in books) these things don’t align and for Elisa and Grace their decisions are often heartbreaking and hard to understand.
This is a family saga, extending through Elisa’s life, and covering extended and connected family’s. It is a wonderful read, and despite a fairly long length is a very quick read, I read it in just three sittings.
I was left with an aching need to visit Cuba which has always been high on my list of places to visit but has now jumped up a bit higher. Rosanna Ley’s description’s were so enticing, the history and the people all made to feel so real and beautiful.
Last Dance in Havana, is a perfect summer read, you can relax in your garden, on the beach, or while you are travelling with this wonderful book and soak up the wonderful story and Cuban rays.
A huge thanks to Rosanna Ley and Quercus for the ARC via Quercus Summer so that I could read and honestly review this book.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Title: Last Dance in Havana
Author: Rosanna Ley
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Family Saga, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publication Date: 19 May 2016
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: eBook | Audio
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Nook | iBooks