I received a gifted galley of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN CUBA by Chanel Cleeton for an honest review. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review!
Publication Date: 5/4/2021
Rating: 4.5 / 5
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN CUBA follows three women. In Gilded Age New York, Grace is an aspiring journalist hoping to join the limited ranks of females who make a difference in the world by writing the news. Evangelina is in Cuba, arrested and imprisoned for something that she didn’t do. Her story and her beauty inspire the American news to take up the cry for her release and for Cuban independence. Marina is young wife and mother in Cuba, secretly working for the revolutionaries in Havana. Their three different stories begin to intertwine, centering around the real life story of Evangelina which inspired the book.
This was my third book by Chanel Cleeton and I think my favorite so far. While her first books had a bit of a glimpse into modern day, this book is purely historical fiction and I loved getting different looks at this point in time that I didn’t know much about.
Grace’s story and the insights into the news world was very intriguing to me. This was a point in time where the big names in media (Hearst and Pulitzer) not only reported the news, they went out and made the news. They took sides, framed narratives and went out to report with extravagance.
Evangelina’s story was also very gripping for me, especially knowing that she was a true figure in history, though through a fictionalized account. The news made her their poster child for pushing America to get involved in Cuba’s politics, using her beauty to catch the American eye and interest. The descriptions of the horrifying conditions of the prison and the women there was beautifully written though heartbreaking to read. It took me a bit longer to connect with Marina’s story line, though by the end I really loved her as well.
This is a fantastic read for the historical fiction fans and I loved getting a better idea of a part of Cuba’s history and the history of print news. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN CUBA is out today!