Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton is the official September 2020 pick for the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers.
Do you read historical fiction? I’m always surprised when members of the Peanut Blossom Book Club tell me that this is a new-to-them genre they haven’t tried.
I’ve always loved historical fiction books. I think they are the best way to learn about a period of history that is unfamiliar.
Learning about the past through the story of a beloved character brings the history lesson to life in a much more engaging way than most textbooks are able to do.
As the kids head back to school each fall, I love to throw in a historical fiction book so we can dive into our own history lesson!
This year’s pick has been on my to-read list for ages and I’m so excited to dig in. I hope you love it, too!
P.S. Just joining us? Don’t miss the rest of the 2020 line-up of book club picks.
Peanut Blossom Book Club
This book club pick is one of the awesome books from our sixth year of book club.
We’re still going strong! Want to join us?
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What Is Next Year in Havana About?
“Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-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.“
Next Year in Havana Book Club Discussion Questions
I believe the best book club questions to spark a lively discussion in your group help readers make personal connections to the story.
You can read about how to write the best book club questions on your own here, but hopefully these will get you started!
Be sure to check out the official discussion in our book club group right here.
Who did you identify with more: Elisa Perez in 1958 or Marisol Ferrera in 2017?
How are the men that Marisol and Elisa fall in love with the same and how are they different?
Imagine you are in Elisa’s shoes and forced to leave the country you love. How would you attempt to keep your heritage alive in your new home? Which family traditions are most important to you?
Elisa’s final wish is to have her ashes scattered in Cuba, would you have desired the same? Is there an alternative you’d prefer?
Elisa saves Pablo’s letters in a box, what would you bury to protect for your future grandchildren to discover?
Pablo believes that the best way to change Cuba is from within while Elisa’s family chooses to leave since they can no longer support the regime. Which approach would you make if it were your family?
Do you have a desire to visit Cuba in person for yourself? Have you already travelled there? What was it like?
Book Club Party Menu
I think it is so fun to plan your book club dinner menu or dessert list based on the theme of the book.
This month’s book club takes place in Havana, Cuba so it is an obvious choice to pick some delicious Cuban dishes for your party.
For a sweet dessert, why not a traditional tres leches cake? It is delicious with or without a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.