Monday, July 26, 2021

The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

What is your favorite book or movie set in Cuba?

 The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba is the story of three revolutionary women in the late 19th century struggle for Cuban independence. 

 Evangelina Cisneros is eighteen years old and suffering in a notorious prison.  Her father was arrested for being a rebel against Spain and Evangelina was exiled to an island.  While there, the beautiful Evangelina caught the notice of the man in charge of the island.  When she rebuffs his advances, she finds herself thrown into prison.  Her story catches the fancy of William Randolph Hearst who dubs her “the most beautiful girl in Cuba” in his papers and helps to rally a frenzied United States to go to war with Spain over Cuba.  Grace Harrington works for Hearst and struggles to make it as a female reporter in a man’s world.  Marina Perez is estranged from her wealthy family over her choice of husband, but as her husband fights, she works to help the cause in Havana.  Will these three women succeed in their missions?

 I enjoyed this book.  It was told in three different viewpoints for the three different women.  I didn’t know much at all about the Cuban fight for independence and I found it fascinating.  I was even more fascinated to learn that Evangelina Cisneros was a real person, and her story follows what is told in this novel.  I enjoyed all three-story lines, but my only complaint was that I didn’t feel that I really got to know the women as well as I would have liked.  The plot was good, but I think their characters could have been developed a little further. 

 Favorite Quotes:

“There are those who are afraid that the change we seek will leave them pushed to the fringes of a society they have mercilessly dominated for so long.”

 “Our lives are not defined by one thing; we are more than the events that happen to us,”

 Overall, The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba was a captivating look into the Cuban fight for independence and yellow journalism of the late 19th century.

 Book Source:  Review Copy from Net Galley and Berkley.  Thank-you!

1 comment:

  1. I do not think I've read a book with a Cuban setting so this will be firstly of interest, apart from a story which is interesting. Thanks for the review.